Sainz takes first Dakar stage win

2018 Dakar Stage 6 Pedrero Leads In 16th CS Santosh Finishes 51st As Rally Reaches Half Way

The Indian rider crashed out of the stage when he suffered a fall and broke his ankle close to the finish. He finished the sixth stage at 38th position and overall he stands at 51st place at the end of the first half of the Dakar Rally. Red Bull KTM's Matthias Walkner remains third with a 2m50s gap to new leader Benavides.

After suffering a bad Stage 3 in which he fell 22 minutes and 45 seconds off the pace and then failed to put much of a dent in that time deficit during Stage 4, the Spanish rider showed just how fast he can go on a rally bike in Stage 5 yesterday, where he dominated the 266-kilometer timed special to make up a whopping 14 minutes on the leaders as he grabbed his 21st career Dakar Rally stage win.

The trucks and the cars, therefore, were the first to discover the stage, even before their riders, as they made their way through the sands of Tanaka, traversing through 30km or so of mountain dunes.

The French ace's hopes of adding a Dakar to his nine world rally championship crowns at the third attempt had appeared encouraging after climbing to second in the standings.

Benavides leads the general standings, nearly two minutes ahead of France's Yamaha rider Adrien Van Beveren. "Now we rest for one day and then get ready for the final leg of the Dakar", said Santosh. I am going to attack as much as possible and make up some places. Barreda Bort is charging ahead and is placed in the fourth position. He endured another flat tire not long after the start from Pisco on Monday but fixed it quickly and still blew away the field en route to San Juan de Marcona. He has a better chance of completing the rally with top 20 finish.

2018 dakar stage 6
Dakar 2018, Stage 6: Sherco-TVS' Juan Pedrero Moves Up To 15th In The Overall Classification, Hero Motosports

Paraguayan Nelson Sanabria Galeano ended the day third fastest ahead of class leader Ignacio Casale, who now holds a forty-one minute and thirty seconds advantage over Alexis Hernandez heading into the rest day in Bolivia.

"It was a tough day for me today", Quintanilla said.

The notorious rally spans a healthy portion of January, this year running Jan 6-20, with a rest day in La Paz, Bolivia, for a total of 14 stages and nearly 5,600 miles of race fun. The American moved back into 10th place overall after Stage 5. Leaving the dunes behind, they moved on to unpredictable weather and mountainous terrain as the day saw rain, snow and ice in conditions that were very tough for the riders. "There was a lot of sand dunes again, and the first special was really good for me with a lot of tracks to follow".

Friday is a rest stage in La Paz.

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