Dakar: Mini win, Giniel still 3rd
SMILING THROUGH THE DISAPPOINTMENT: Qatar's Nasser al-Attiyah smiles at the end of Stage 5 of the 2013 Dakar rally from Arequipa and Arica, Chile, on January 9 despite finishing seventh on the day after getting lost. Image: AFP
SANTIAGO, Chile - Stephane Peterhansel boosted his lead in the 2013 Dakar rally to 10 minutes after Wednesday’s fifth stage which was won by team mate Nani Roma on Wednesday.
Dakar stage 5 gallery
Peterhansel's Mini finished second to Roma's on the relatively short 172km stage on the Peru side of the border with Chile. After enduring sand dunes since the race started on Saturday, drivers sprinted through rocky sections, river beds and canyons.
The motorcycles navigated a different 136km route from Arequipa toward the Pacific coast and Olivier Pain became the first rider to hold on to the overall lead. Only six minutes separate the leading trio, all of them Frenchmen.
GINIEL FOURTH HOME
The favoured Minis of the X-raid team dominated the cars' stage, with three in the top five. Roma beat Peterhansel home by 1min23 and Leonid Novitskiy was fifth. Robby Gordon, whose Hummer was on its roof on Tuesday, finished third and the consistent Giniel de Villiers raced his Toyota Hilux to fourth.
Stage 5 video wrap
Nasser al-Attiyah, who had won stages three and four, was six minutes behind in seventh in his buggy after a slight navigation error but remained second overall to Peterhansel. De Villiers is third overall but 33min50 off the lead and only four minutes ahead of Novitskiy and Roma.
Peterhansel said: "It was tough and essential to find the right course. Mind you, I had a good hare to follow with Nasser up ahead and making good tracks."
'WINNING'S REALLY GREAT!'
On the bikes' stage, Pain and David Casteu opened the trail on their Yamahas and expertly held their lead. Casteu edged out Pain by a minute for his third career stage victory, followed two minutes later by Juan Pedrero of Spain.
Casteu said: "Winning at the start of the rally when all the riders are still in it, it's really great. At the end of the Dakar, it can be argued that other riders relax and manage their position. When you win like that with all these riders who've got the bit between their teeth, it's good."
The overall order was swopped, with Pain leading Casteu and defending champion Cyril Despres, fifth on the stage, third and just over six minutes back.
Pain said: "I wanted to avoid making a mistake so that people wouldn't say ‘he got caught out because he got too big for his boots’. It was a nice stage to ride and I'm still leader. That makes it two days running."
Any chance of winning the title virtually ended for Joan Barreda Bort, who won two previous stages. He was held up by a fuel pump problem 100km in and dropped three hours off the lead.
The long sixth stage today (Thursday Jan 10) will be the first in Chile with riders heading into the awesome Atacama Desert.