Stage 6 is set to be a good stage for this years Dakar. the scenery Uyuni is spectacular and more altitude is guaranteed as the race is run at 13,700 feet above sea level. It was cool to see Robby Gordon and Kellon Walch get in the top ten on stage 5. Hopefully they can continue the momentum.
KTM Red Bull Toby Price will be setting out to take the overall in the standings. On the American motorcycle front, Brabec is sitting 18th, while Alexander Smith has moved up to 59th, Blythe is sitting in 42nd and CR Gittere is 91st.
Results: Price and Peterhansel dominant in stage 6! I predicted that Stephane Peterhansel would take calculated risks and go for the overall. He’s going to be hard to beat from here on out. However there are only 27 seconds separating he and Loeb.
Meanwhile Australian Toby Price is doing it right by clocking up stage wins and is only 35 seconds out of the overall after 20 hours of racing. We’ll see how Golcalves handles the upcoming dunes. Anything can happen in rally racing. Joan Barreda broke down today and just like that, out of contention.
Even more, we are now seeing the real face of the Dakar Rally with many competitors withdrawing due to injury and fatigue. Check out the Italian Rider Story post for more about how fatigue plays into the Dakar Rally.
As far as other results, Frenchman Alain Duclos is staying steady in 9th overall and has a lot of experience in the dunes. Honda rider Ricky Brabec is now 14th. Depending on his consistency, he could find himself in the top 5 if he does things right. David Casteu showed up to race today and moved up to 19th overall. Huge improvement by David. On the American side of things, Blyth is sitting 36th, Alexander Smith is 50th, Bright is 58th, and Giterre is 82nd at the time of this writing.
There is some interesting action in the quads with the Patronelli brothers sitting one and two in the overall.
Below is a photo with a former Dakar Rally competitor Mark Miller and his co pilot at the Finish in Senegal, Dakar. I spent a couple of years getting to know Mark, and he was always a class act, and even posed for a shot with my book, Chasing Dakar. I got to know many of the drivers during the Dakar as everyone is approachable in the bivouac. I guess it just runs with the spirit of the Dakar.