With a 56th placed finish on the fifth stage, his best result since the start, Pierre Louis Le Bonniec is having one hell of a time on his first Dakar. “I’m happy to have finished! It was a bit cold, but I had a great day. The desert was magnificent. We rode for 200 km in the sand and it was really good fun. It’s the most beautiful ride I’ve ever done on my bike, I think!”
Guillaume Martens has had a spectacular tumble after 270 km of the special. With injuries to the head, buttock and hip, the Dutch rider still wanted to carry on. However, the medical team instead took the decision to evacuate him from the race route, making it his third early withdrawal in four participations.
Mohammed Balooshi would have preferred not to have this sort of problem. The rider from the United Arab Emirates, who finished 25th on the Dakar last year, thought he had enough fuel to reach the finish of the day’s special, but his Husqvarna broke down 25 km from the start and he is currently trying to get some petrol from another competitor!
Ricky Brabec has ridden with control on the fifth stage to only concede 3 minutes to the day’s winner Toby Price, meaning he leads the Australian by 9 minutes in the general standings whilst Kevin Benavides has dropped back to 11 minutes behind.