Dakar 2015: report stage 5 Copiapo – Antofagasta (video)

dakar_2015_report_5_uk1Hot, dynamic and dramatic! This words describe perfect the 6th day of Dakar 2015. The stage from Copiapo to Antofagsta in Chile, served 458 km against the clock to the participants.

Battling with Joan Barreda since the start in Buenos Aires, Marc Coma finally tasted victory on the Dakar 2015, regaining 2’16“ on his countryman. Barreda, far from panicking, is focusing on controlling his lead in the general standings. In the car race, Vladimir Vasilyev experienced a day of glory with his first victory on the Dakar. In the truck category, Eduard Nikolaev won the stage, as the same did Rafal Sonik on his quad.

Whilst he does not possess the experience of Marc Coma, Joan Barreda is without doubt just as smart. After having opened a further gap of two minutes on the KTM rider on Wednesday between Chilecito and Copiapo, the official Honda HRC rider had to open the way yesterday, pursued by Coma. This situation only lasted for 30 kilometres, since Barreda preferred to let his countryman lead the way and set the pace. This strategy paid off, because although he gave up slightly more than two minutes to his rival in the general standings of Dakar 2015, Barreda retains a considerable lead on arrival in Antofagasta. However, it is not a gap that is likely to worry a Marc Coma savouring his first success of 2015 and intending to use the marathon stage to make the difference.

dakar_2015_report5-uk2Behind this duel between the leading duo, Pablo Quintanilla is taking on a new dimension. For his third Dakar, after having dropped out twice, the Chilean put in another noteworthy performance in his home country by completing a second consecutive day as the third placed finisher. These performances have helped him climb up to 4th in the general standings at a little more than eight minutes behind a solid-looking Paulo Gonçalves, on the look-out for the slightest mistake from the Coma/Barreda duo. Slovakian Stefan Svitko can also be satisfied with his day, finishing 3’54“ behind the winner, whilst Jordi Viladoms and Ruben Faria both lost plenty of time. The Yamaha clan is still a significant distance behind the best.

Head and shoulders above his rivals over the last two days, Rafal Sonik has dominated the day’s stage. The Polish rider has left Ignacio Casale trailing by more than 10 minutes and Jeremias Gonzales Ferioli more than 21 minutes behind and has comforted his position even further. Already 24 minutes ahead of the second placed rider in the general standings of Dakar 2015, he is sitting on top of a very comfortable lead.

Fouth in the general standings yesterday morning, Mohammed Abu-Issa suffered a broken engine after 361 kilometres of the special and consequently the Qatari exit the rally.

Stage 5 – Car/Bike – Stage Summary – (Copiapo… by Dakar

A discrete 11th in the general standings at the start in Copiapo, the script was written for Vladimir Vasilyev to step into the limelight on the route to Antofagasta. Participating in his third Dakar, this year – and in particular on the day’s 458-km special – the Russian driver’s progression on the Dakar 2015 took a steep upturn. He accomplished this victory in part thanks to a first half of the special which he drove pedal to the metal, giving him a six minute lead over the no less astonishing Yazeed Alrajhi. In the end, he chose to control this lead until the finishing line, which he crossed just 20 seconds before the Saudi.

Apart from his excellent first day, Robby Gordon has had a complicated start to Dakar 2015. However, he reacquainted himself with success in the form of the day’s third place, 1’25“ behind the stage winner. This result will not change the face of the general standings, however, which are still comfortably dominated by Nasser Al-Attiyah, who was fourth in Antofagasta, distancing the day’s sixth-placed finisher Giniel de Villiers by a further two minutes. Stéphane Peterhansel grabbed fifth place and enjoyed a much better day than his team-mates – Carlos Sainz, who rolled his vehicle and drop out from the competition, and Cyril Despres, who spend a long time trying to repair his broken down car. 8’49“ behind the day’s winner, Krzysztof Holowczyc climbs up to 4th place in the general standings.

Stage / Etapa / Etape 5 – Top Moment – (Copiapo… by Dakar

We were almost sure, that Guerlain Chicherit said „“adios“to Dakar 2015 after fis buggy had caught fire several kilometers after the start. More than five hours after the winner of yesterday’s stage, Chicherit crossed the finishing line! And maybe today the X-Raid buggy will continue to Iquique!

dakar_2015_report5_uk3Second, two minutes behind Airat Mardeev, at the start in Copiapo, Eduard Nikolaev has done the necessary on the route to Antofagasta to pick up a deserved second consecutive victory in dakar 2015 as well the lead in the general standings. The Kamaz driver beat his countryman by almost ten minutes whilst Byelorussian Siarhei Viazovich takes the day’s third place fifteen minutes behind the winner. In difficulty on the second half of the special, Andrey Karginov is now battling for third place in the general standings with Ales Loprais 27 minutes behind the leader.

Stage 5 – Inside Dakar 2015 – Ales LOPRAIS by Dakar

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