Peterhansel leads Dakar into Bolivia

Peterhansel leads Dakar into Bolivia

The Indian rider suffered a crash early on in the stage that left him with an injured ankle.

Starting ninth, Barreda navigated the Tanaka section flawlessly and blazed to victory with a stage time of 3 hours, 19 minutes and 42 seconds, a full 10 minutes and 26 seconds ahead of stage runner-up Matthias Walkner on the Red Bull KTM.

Defending champion Stephane Peterhansel led the Dakar Rally into Bolivia on Thursday but Peugeot team mate Carlos Sainz trimmed the Frenchman's lead with his first stage win of this year's event.

Benavides has a 1min 57sec lead over French Yamaha rider Adrien van Beveren in the overall standings.

"We certainly felt the power deficit", said De Villiers after spending more than 12 hours behind the wheel of his Toyota Hilux (stage and liaison combined).

Nasser Al-Attiyah won a second stage three days into the Dakar Rally on Monday to remain a contender in the world's toughest rally.

"We did not have dust today so I knew it was my best chance to pass a few guys and I tried to make the most of the opportunity". He endured another flat tire not long after the start from Pisco on Monday but fixed it quickly and still blew away the field en route to San Juan de Marcona.

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Barreda is now fourth, just 7 minutes and 30 seconds out of the lead-a very manageable deficit, while teammate Benavides inched closer to the rally lead. I am going to attack as much as possible and make up some places.

For the fifth stage, the organisers separated the route for bikes/quads and cars/trucks.

All in all, it has been a good Dakar so far as the team has been able to fight off, all that the rally has thrown at them so far and stands strong at the half way mark. He finished nearly 28 minutes behind Sunderland.

On the completion of stage 5, this is what Santosh had to say: "It was a really hard day". I started the special stage really cautiously, but five kilometers before the finish of the timed special I had a small technical issue that made me lose a lot of time.

Another long day saw the Dakar Rally move from Peru to Bolivia, trading the soft dunes that marked the opening stages of the race for fast gravel tracks. Despite the fall in stage 4, today's performance helped him gain 5 positions overnight, taking him to the overall ranking of 51st at the end of stage 5.

"The day was tough", Brabec said.

Unpredictable weather played the real cards yesterday and the first part of the 6th stage from Arequipa to La Paz had to be cancelled owing to bad weather and foggy conditions. However, after the sand dunes, the mountain setting meant a good rise in pace.

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