Jan 09

2014 Dakar Rally – Stage 5

81697_184_MATEO_MORENO_KRISTIANSEN_COL_MM_140109_Dakar2014_0091Stage 5 of the 2014 Dakar Rally was the longest in rally history since 2005.  Soft sand and tricky navigation combined with over 300 miles of timed stage to shake up the order and separate the wheat from the chaff.  Hit the jump for some pics and video of a motorcycle on fire.

Anton Shibalov - ActionProving that the Dakar is a race of survival and luck Stage 5 of the 2014 Dakar Rally ended in tears and frustration for more than one rally veteran.  No one had a worse day than HRC rider Paulo Gonclaves who’s hopes literally burned to the ground at KM 143 today.

dak14_stage5_rodrigues_5025_dThe HRC Honda team’s luck continued to be bad on stage 5 as their best rider finished over 25 minutes behind KTM’s charging Marc Coma.  Early hero, Joan Barreda also had a bad day loosing 44 plus minutes and the overall lead of the race.

81686_Marc_Coma_02_P-20140109-00056_HiRes_JPEG_24bit_RGB_NewsProving that he is back in top form Marc Coma powered to the front of the field with flawless navigation, making the stage look easy.

Cyril Despres - ActionEven Dakar veteran and defending champion Despres struggled finishing nearly 2 hours down after receiving a penalty and having navigation issues.

Ronan Chabot - ActionIn the cars the story was the same with yesterday’s hero Carlos Sainz being sidelined with electrical trouble and being penalized for missing a checkpoint.  The Spaniard lost just over two hours and his chances of a win in the 2014 Dakar Rally are looking very slim.

MCH27466_1224x816MINI driver Nani Roma managed to secure his lead by finishing four minutes ahead of a determined DeVilliers and twenty minutes clear of MINI teammate Terranova.

The day’s result leaves Roma over 30 minutes ahead in the overall standings which is a great start for the former winner in the motorcycle class.

DAKAR 2014: ARGENTINA-BOLIVIA-CHILEOne of the big movers on the day was Robbie Gordon who finished in 3rd before being assessed a 1 hour penalty.  Even with the penalty Gordon has been slowly moving up the rankings.  A top 10 finish is probably out of the question but a stage win or two seems likely.

For all the official results and commentary on the 2014 Dakar Rally check out the official site: www.dakar.com