Sainz Takes Stage Six Win, Benavides Takes Over Bikes Class Lead

Annette Crawford
January 12, 2018

Navigating a tough stage involving hidden way points and a hard terrain, Hero MotoSports Team Rally riders CS Santosh overcame a crash to gain over 40 places while Oriol Mena was ranked 24th overall in the Dakar Rally. The Spanish rider is now ranked 15th overall in the Moto class, after five stages of rallying.

Meanwhile, Aravind KP is recovering from his nasty crash of Stage 5. It was Barreda's second stage win at Dakar 2018.

The Team Peugeot Total driver clinched the stage six win by 4m06s, with Toyota's Gazoo Racing's Nasser Al-Attiyah a minute further back in third place, to see Sainz trim Peterhansel's overall classification lead to 27m10s.

Also, Nani Roma, a victor in the auto and bike categories, didn't start the stage after crashing at the end of the third on Monday. Red Bull KTM's Matthias Walkner remains third with a 2m50s gap to new leader Benavides. Barreda Bort is charging ahead and is placed in the fourth position. Alexis Hernandez and Pablo Copetti rounded off the top three riders after the completion of the fifth stage. Yet it was an injury suffered by co-driver Daniel Elena as they descended a dune that forced Loeb to bring a premature end to his 2018 Dakar.

After suffering a awful Stage 3 in which he fell 22 minutes and 45 seconds off the pace and then failed to put much of a dent in that time deficit during Stage 4, the Spanish rider showed just how fast he can go on a rally bike in Stage 5 yesterday, where he dominated the 266-kilometer timed special to make up a whopping 14 minutes on the leaders as he grabbed his 21st career Dakar Rally stage win.

Loeb beat Carlos Sainz by 95 seconds, followed by Peterhansel for a Peugeot sweep of the podium. Benavides is in second place overall, just 1 minute behind AVB, while Walkner is holding fast in third place, just another 14 seconds adrift of Benavides, making the 2018 Dakar Rally a real battle at the front. Local hero Federico Villagra maintained his pace and is the closest rival to Nikolaev in the overall rankings. Sherco TVS' lone surviving rider Joan Pedrero, however, led the Indian contingent as he went on to complete Stage 6 in 16th position and 15th overall. The sixth stage of the rally will take the competitors to Bolivia with a 313km special stage.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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