Dakar 2018, Stage 5: Loeb out as Peterhansel extends lead

Credit Florent Gooden  DPPI

Credit Florent Gooden DPPI

40th Dakar Edition stage four, San Juan de Marcona to San Juan de Marcona - January 9, 2018.

Hero MotoSports Team Rallys debutant Oriol Mena continued his fine form of yesterday to begin the stage well but lost some time in finding a way point in the later part of the stage.

The fifth stage had a 508 km liaison section, the longest yet of Dakar 2018 and 226 km of special stage making up for a total of 774km. The soft sand with high slopes have tested the mettle of the competitors.

In the bikes, Sunderland crashed while leading and had to be flown out by helicopter. The former Porto, Chelsea and Tottenham manager, who was making his debut in the rally, felt back pains after his auto crashed against a sand dune in the fourth stage.

Loeb was finally helped by a truck and carried on - but with co-driver Daniel Elena in pain after sustaining a tailbone injury, the pair were finally forced to withdraw.

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Yamalube Yamaha's Adrien Van Beveren, now the leader in motorcycle category, held on to his slender lead by finishing fifth in stage 5.

For 2018 the team have brought in a new auto in the form of the Mini John Cooper Works Buggy and after the second day of action, the Finn is sitting in seventh position, just behind Team Peugeot Total driver Carlos Sainz Sr.

Further up the order Adrien van Beveren swept to another stage victory for the factory Yamaha squad by five minutes from team-mate Xavier de Soultrait. van Beveren now leads the overall classification by 1m55s from Husqvarna's Pablo Quintanilla with Honda's Kevin Benavides in third 3m15s off of the Yamaha rider. "They did an wonderful job to replace our gearbox in just twenty minutes - but that meant that we'd lost even more time". They lead second-placed Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz, also from Peugeot Total, by 31 minutes and 16 seconds. He finished the stage at 33 position, which now places him at 24 positions in the overall rankings.

After tackling the sand dunes, the drivers and riders will next have to tackle the high mountains of Bolivia.

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