Sunderland wins stage 5 to head Dakar Rally standings
Oruro (Bolivia), Jan 7 (IANS) Britain’s Sam Sunderland (KTM) bested the field to win the fifth stage of the 2017 Dakar Rally and climb to the top of the standings in the motorcycle segment, while Frenchman Stephane Peterhansel’s (Peugeot) third-place finish gave him the lead in the car race.
On Friday, Sunderland completed the 219-kilometre timed portion of the stage between the Bolivian cities of Tupiza and Oruro in 2:21:54, just over seven minutes faster than Paulo GonÃ§alves (Husqvarna) and Adrien Van Beveren, reports Efe.
The wind and rain that accompanied the competitors for most of Friday’s course made for a “difficult stage,” Sunderland said at the finish.
Spaniard Joan Barreda, who ended the fourth stage with a comfortable lead over the rest of the riders only to see an hour added to his time for refueling outside the authorised zone, had a bad day on Friday and now sits more 1:12:39 behind Sunderland in the general classification.
Sebastien Loeb (Peugeot) of France won the stage in the car race, followed by Spain’s Nani Roma (Toyota) and teammate Peterhansel.
It was Loeb’s second stage victory of Dakar 2017 and he trails Peterhansel in the overall by just 1:06.
Dutchman Gerard de Rooy (Iveco), the defending champion, won the truck race for the second consecutive day and leads the general classification by a slim 2:23 over Russia’s Eduard Nikolaev (Kamaz).
Another Dutch competitor Kees Koolen (Barren Racer), won the stage in quads.
Argentina’s Gustavo Gallego finished second and French rider Simon Vitse was third, though he did well enough to claim first place in the general.