Al-Attiyah and Barreda push back as big names fall in fourth stage of Dakar
Sam Sunderland and Orlando Terranova are out of the Dakar Rally.
The fourth stage of Dakar was a tough one for many top drivers and riders. Per the ASO, here's what the competitors had to look forward to today: "Entering Chile has to be earned through hard work: a very early alarm call and a climb up to 4,800 metres in altitude will precede the crossing of the border at Paso San Francisco."
"The sporting part of the day will start by a progressive warm-up on mining tracks, before tackling the harsh realities of the Atacama Desert, where the competitors will find open and sandy terrain. Thereafter, in the last 40 kilometres, and probably at night for many, the riders and drivers will be confronted by the giant dunes and dips near Copiapo. The tackling of these dunes is an exercise in which subtlety and instinct will be rewarded."
Nasser Al-Attiyah has extended his lead after stealing the stage win from teammate Nani Roma in the final kilometers, who is too far behind to pose a threat in the overall standings. Giniel de Villiers ended the stage in third place.
Orlando Terranova hit a stone at the 72km mark and sat stationary for hours. It has not yet been confirmed, but after winning two of the first three stages, he's abandoned his Mini and the rally.
Carlos Sainz also stopped his Peugeot due to mechanical issues and eventually turned back in search of his assistance truck where he remained for hours before also retiring. Robby Gordon, trying to fight back from issues in the second stage, lost dozens of minutes due to another issue with the 'Gordini.'
Toby Price lost his way early in the stage before getting back underway, losing some time as a result. Marc Coma was charging early, overtaking rookie Matthias Walkner. The Austrian continued to lose ground as the phsyical strain from the Dakar took its toll. At the 139km though, Joan Barreda took the fight to Coma and puhsed ahead.
Sam Sunderland crashed and is out of Dakar, suffering a collarbone and shoulder injury.
It appears nothing can stop Rafał Sonik as he dominates this class, winning yet another stage. Yesterday's winner Lucas Bonetto stopped with issues at the 89km mark. Ignacio Casale is the only rider within 13 minutes of Polish rider, who tragically lost countryman Michal Henrik yesterday in the bike class.
Four stages, four different winners in the truck category. The only constant is the strength of the Kamaz-Master team, which run 1-2-3 after today. The No. 500 and No. 502 are going at for the lead and the margin is incredibly tight between the two.
Robb's Dakar ride: Looking back on stage 4
2015 Dakar Rally: Stage 4 results