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Dakar 2018: Bikes champion Sunderland out of rally while in Peru

12 January, 2018, 19:20 | Author: Heidi Alvarez
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"The vehicle was going really well".

Tuesday's 205-mile special stage pushed the Dakar Rally racers and their machines to the limit on the route around San Juan de Marcona in Peru.

The rally's new overall leader is Frenchman Adrian van Beveren, who won the stage.

"He felt a sharp pain in his back immediately but carried on for another 5km before stopping again due to the pain and a lack of feeling in his legs".

In the toughest physical day of the rally so far, the leaderboard was shaken with many pre-race favorites coming into difficulty.

"The dunes were really churned up and the sand was incredibly soft".

"The group I was in missed a waypoint so we lost a fair amount of time getting back on track".

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Willem du Toit (KTM) posted his worst stage result yet on the Dakar, finishing 78th - but still moved up two places to 66th overall, while Gerry van der Byl posted his best finish yet in 112th, and moved up eight places to 111th.

Speaking about Stage 4, CS Santosh said, "We started the stage today on the beach".

Fellow Australian Rodney Faggotter moved into the top 20 overall on a day his factory Yamaha teammates celebrated. I tried to push myself hard and did all I could and so I managed to cross a lot of riders. When we arrived in the dunes, I had the opportunity to come back. "Towards the end I had a massive crash because of a rock hidden inside a fesh-fesh, but I am ok and the bike is ok so we live to fight another day".

Things aren't looking as good for the third Australian on the event, Scott Britnell. Carlos Sainz stood second in stage 4 while Peterhansel was the second runner up.

Cyril Despres, who had led after the second stage, saw his chances of winning a sixth title after five on bikes effectively disappear when he broke a rear wheel on his Peugeot and had to wait for assistance.

The Qatari driver stopped his Hilux twice on the stage, eventually losing a total of 54 minutes to Loeb.

Ten Brinke not only recorded a perfectly clean stage, but also kept pace with the leading Peugeot of Stephane Peterhansel over terrain that was much more suited to the buggy.

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