Stage 5 of the Dakar Rally 2017 saw competitors rally from Tupiza to Orura on the high Bolivian plains. The special stage was shortened to 219 km due to bad weather, and even so, a group of leading bikers still got lost on the monster dunes.
Sebastien Loeb made a comeback to claim his second stage win of the year and sixth of his Dakar career. The Frenchman managed to outpace a resilient Nani Roma who in the end managed to bring his Toyota home in second. Stephane Peterhansel finished third and now sits atop the overall classification with Loeb in second. Romain Dumas built up a good pace since day one that culminated to a fifth place finish today in his Peugeot 3008 DKR, behind the other Peugeot of Cyril Despres.
The Bikes category was quite challenging today, top leaders including yesterday’s winner Joan Barreda got lost in the dunes and gave away enough time to disrupt the classification. It was Britain’s Sam Sunderland who managed to stay on the right path, mastering the dunes on his way to a well deserved stage win. Other riders who also got lost included Pablo Quintanilla, Xavier de Soultrait and Matthias Walkner. Barreda meanwhile was slammed with a 1 hour penalty for fueling outside the designated area.
Kees Koolen won in the quad category while Dutchman and Iveco driver Gerard de Rooy scooped his second consecutive stage win in the truck category.
Tomorrow’s stage will run from Oruro to La Paz over a distance of 786 km including a special of 527 km.