Sports Desk, Jan 6 (EFE).- South Africa’s Henk Lategan (Toyota Gazoo) Thursday won the fifth stage of the Dakar Rally, which began and ended in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia).
Lategan dominated the timed section (special) to finish ahead of Frenchman Sebastien Loeb (Bahrain Raid Xtreme) by one minute and 58 seconds, a result that helped him to shave 2’55” off the overall leader of cars, Qatar’s Nasser Al-Attiyah.
Carlos Sainz (Audi) lost an hour when he stopped before kilometer 199 due to problems with one of his shock absorbers.
The Spaniard, who was already 2h20’13” behind Al-Attiyah in the general standings after the fateful penultimate checkpoint of stage 1B, lost one hour, 13 minutes and 57 seconds overall after having to repair his car.
The fifth stage confirmed the good form of Argentinean Lucio Álvarez and his co-driver, Spaniard Armand Monleon. They drove their Toyota Overdrive to a third-placed finish, 2’10” behind Lategan to climb to third position in the general rankings, overtaking the Saudi and teammate, Yazeed Al Rajhi.
For his part, Spaniard Nani Roma (Bahrain Raid Xtreme), who said goodbye to all his chances in the general standings on Wednesday after a rollover, regained confidence with the car and finished the stage nine minutes and 44 seconds behind the winner.
Al-Attiyah, who has his sights set on winning his fourth Dakar (after those won in 2011, 2015, 2019), from the second day, took out the calculator again and followed his overall pursuer, Loeb, closely. The latter cut 2’55” off him, leaving the Qatari still with a lead of 35 minutes and 10 seconds. EFE