Selected quotes from the Dakar organizers after the fifth stage of the rally endurance event.
009 - Olivier PAIN “This morning, I didn't know how it was going to work out. I wasn't stressed out, but I wanted to avoid making a mistake so that people wouldn't say, ‘he got caught out because he got too big for his boots'. I set off in a good state of mind. I was especially concentrating on not falling. I made a small navigation error right at the beginning, but I put it right straight away. I didn't see Joan (Barreda) stopped next to the track. I don't know if he had problems or if he made a mistake. I had to open the road for three-quarters of the day. David started to catch up with me a bit in the middle, but I put some distance in between us near the end. It was a good special stage, very dangerous at the beginning with a bit of navigation before a big rocky area. The end was more twisting in a canyon with nice tracks and some fesh-fesh. It was a nisce stage to ride and I'm still leader. That makes it two days running now”.
007 - Francisco LOPEZ “It's wonderful when I see a Chilean flag. It helps me and motivates me. But it's still a race with all its dangers and I'm well placed to know what they are. There are very fast riders on the rally and it will be very difficult. We'll be returning to Chile, but we have to tackle Fiambala before that and that will be a real day of reckoning. Tomorrow will be a fairly decisive stage where positions will be important. After that, we'll return to Chile and Copiapo which will also sort the wheat from the chaff. It just goes to show that the race is only just starting”.
010 - David CASTEU “The stage I won in 2010 seems a long time ago. I've always said to myself that winning a special stage is fabulous. What's more, winning at the start of the rally when all the riders are still in it, it's really great. At the end of the Dakar, it can be argued that other riders relax and manage their position. When you win like that with all these riders who've got the bit between their teeth, it's good. Also, it was on a 136-km long special stage, so today it was like a long sprint. I'm really happy about it. I've really got the feel of my bike now and I'm really enjoying it. It's a bike on which I feel good, on which I gobble up the obstacles and behind the handlebars of which I'm relaxed and calm. I arrived on this Dakar having taken stock, with the aim of enjoying each moment, each second. I'm 38 years old and I'm going to take every day as it comes. I'm itching to ride flat out and today I had great fun”.
305 - Joan (Nani) ROMA “I felt good this morning. We drove well and tried to remain concentrated throughout the special, which was magnificent. It's all going well for us for the moment. Long may it continue…”
302 - Stéphane PETERHANSEL “It was short but intense! We soon caught up with Chicherit who let us past after a few warnings with the sentinel coups de sentinel... It was really great... After that, we reached a long, snaking track through the mountains, quite slippy but nice from a driving point of view. Then we finished the special stage between sand and fesh-fesh. It was tough and essential to find the right course… Mind you, I had a good hare to follow with Nasser up ahead, who was making good tracks. All in all, it was a very pleasant special to drive, but sometimes it was quite rocky, so we were on the defensive. But the rest was great to drive…”
300 - Nasser AL-ATTIYAH “Not a very strong day. We made a navigation mistake and got lost a little bit, but, okay, we are here now”.
504 - Hans STACEY “It was a very nice stage and we took care of our truck and I felt fairly good. I have a new Hans system and I didn't feel my neck as much. It's not hurting like yesterday so I can drive normally. I'm so happy to have won the scratch again. I've been so close, ten times, but it's nice. I don't know if I've won the scratch, but we'll have to wait. But we made very good time”.
500 - Gerard DE ROOY “Really bad. We were stuck for a long time behind the two Tatras and they would not let me past. I'm really pissed off and this is not good racing – they really destroyed the race. Unbelievable”.