Jan 13

2014 Dakar Rally – Stage 6 and 7


A much deserved rest day greeted the racers after the first week of the 2014 Dakar.  Hit the jump to see what happened over the weekend and get ready for the second week of racing in South America.

Sadly,  Thursday Stage 5 marked the first fatalities of the 2014 Dakar Rally.  Belgian rider Eric Palante, an 11 time Dakar veteran, and two spectators were killed in unrelated incidents during the stage.  The details of Palante’s death are unclear but Dakar organizers grew concerned when he didn’t make it to the bivouac on Friday morning.

Carlos Sainz - Action

For the remaining racers the weekend stages proved challenging.  While most of the leaders worked to consolidate their positions a few rally favorites were relegated to playing the role of back markers or worse.

Cyril Despres - ActionThe real toll of the 2014 Dakar Rally was felt by the motorcycle class.  Cyril Despres, defending champion and rally veteran, continued to struggle with fatigue mechanical difficulties and navigational problems.

Despres wasn’t the only fan favorite who has found the 2014 Dakar Rally to be one of the most challenging.  Francisco Lopez was forced to drop out on Friday after destroying his bike on the stage.  He was keeping pace with class leader Coma during the early part of the stage but a multiple safety section midway through caught him out and while he was uninjured his Dakar hopes will have to wait for next year.

Stage 7 was more of the same as teams regrouped after Saturday’s rest day.  Carlos Sainz took the stage win for the cars and Barreda returned to his winning ways in the motorcycle class.  The overall positions didn’t change and the racers prepare for a long and likely difficult stage on Monday when the 2014 Dakar Rally enters Chile.

For more on the 2014 Dakar Rally check out the official website. www.dakar.com