Road connection: 68 km – Special Stage: 376 km – Road connection: 249 km – Total: 694 km
Iquique – Arica is the last stage in Chile before crossing the border to Peru. Competitors descended to the south to take a special stage where the landscape between the ocean and the dunes was amazing. After it, a fesh-fesh area that reminded them that they were well at the Dakar, the hardest race of the world. At the bivouac in Arica, the heat wave is back… like it was in Argentina.
Joan Barreda showed off his talent today and reached his first stage victory in the Dakar. The Catalonian profited of Marc Coma to take 1’30’’ of advantage over him. Coma also took advantage of a navigation mistake from Cyril Despres and took him back 2 minutes. The two KTM official riders have the same speech: “With the same team, the victory is just for one rider. We are both at 100% so the Peruvian part of the Dakar will be decisive.” Helder Rodrigues keeps managing his race and was 4th of the day, in front of Viladoms, Svitko, Ullevalseter and Olivier Pain.
Behind, many riders made a mistake at km 237: Ruben Faria, Juan Pedrero, Felipe Zanol, Alain Duclos and Gerard Farres… and they lost time. Casteu, who broke the engine yesterday, faced mechanical problems again and finished the stage 51st. The young Italian rider Manuel Luchese arrived this morning at 7.20 a.m. to start again at 7.30, but his startup problems continued and he broke the engine at kilometer 138.
In quads, Tomas Maffei marks a stage victory 12´56´´ over Marcos Patronelli and 13´26´´ over his brother Alejandro. The only lady in quad, Camelia Liparoti, is 10th of the day and 7th overall. In the overall standings, the Patronelli brothers take the lead.