Dakar 2018 Stage 5 Results

Carlos Sainz wins sixth stage to cut down Stephane Peterhansel's lead in Dakar Rally

On the other hand, Hero MotoSports Team Rally rider CS Santosh maintained his steady pace as the rally neared its halfway mark and finished the fifth stage in 51st position. Quintanilla was able to fix the issue and cross the line with the 16th fastest time, 28 minutes and 52 seconds behind Barreda, dropping him down to ninth place overall, 16 minutes and 12 seconds out of the lead.

As Peterhansel took another step towards his 14th Dakar title Loeb's dream of winning his first Dakar was left in tatters after his vehicle twice ran into early sand trouble on the run from San Juan de Marcona to Arequipe in Peru. Despite the hard terrain, TVS Sherco riders navigated the stage expertly and gaining multiple positions. Oriol Mena continued his solid run from yesterday to finish the stage at 23rd position, and an overall 21st place. Barreda Bort is charging ahead and is placed in the fourth position. A stage with the longest stretch of sand dunes lasting for up to 100 kms was negotiated well by team TVS, with the riders working hard to get past the dunes and the rocks.

Stage five saw the end of Aravind's 2018 Dakar as he was forced to abandon his ride after suffering a bad fall that broke his ankle. David Casteu, the team manager, said, "The whole team is thinking about him and wishes him a speedy recovery".

The trucks and the cars, therefore, were the first to discover the stage, even before their riders, as they made their way through the sands of Tanaka, traversing through 30km or so of mountain dunes.

The marathon stage will see the race crews depart from the bivouac in La Paz on a 425 km-long stage to the iconic salt flat of Uyuni, on the high plains of Bolivia.

"The day was tough", Brabec said.

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Stage 6 into Bolivia will be the last before the rest day.

A challenging stage for the cars today included a 15,500ft-high passage to overcome.

In the bike class, Antoine Meo clinched his maiden stage win of this year's Dakar Rally but Monster Honda's Kevin Benavides secured the overall classification lead finishing runner-up on the sixth stage.

For the fifth stage, the organisers separated the route for bikes/quads and cars/trucks. The dunes were really churned up and the sand was incredibly soft.

Benavides finished second on the day to take an overall lead of one minute and 57 seconds. With Pedrero the lone rider from TVS Sherco still in the running, he will be looking to close the gap to the leaders before the Dakar Rally moves to Argentina as he looks to accomplish another top 10 finish.

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