Dakar: Gauloises Racing stage five report

In the bikes, yesterday's overall leader Esteve Pujol increased his lead fractionally by taking the first 'real' special of the rallye, with Roma second and Meoni (Gauloises KTM) third. Overall Esteve Pujol leads by 36 seconds over Meoni with ...

In the bikes, yesterday's overall leader Esteve Pujol increased his lead fractionally by taking the first 'real' special of the rallye, with Roma second and Meoni (Gauloises KTM) third.

Overall Esteve Pujol leads by 36 seconds over Meoni with Cyril Despres (Gauloises KTM) third at 59 seconds. Hero of the day was Richard Sainct who started this morning with 8 stitches in his arm to finish 8th on the special and 9th overall at 10m56.

Fabrizio Meoni (KTM Gauloises International) 3rd (at 00'22) 2nd overall (at 00'36)

"Even though this is where the Spanish riders have been training and I opened the piste everything went OK today. Given that and the fact that the terrain was not at all suited to my bike I thought I was going to lose a lot of time, but in the end I only gave away 22 seconds. It makes me think I should go well when we get to Mauritania."

Cyril Despres (KTM Gauloises France) 4th (at 0'42) 3rd overall (at 0'59)

"Here in Morocco the going is always tricky, especially riding into the sun, though I thought that with all the rain they have had here recently it would be worse than it actually is. Given the conditions I didn't ride too hard but the pace is very fast. If we continue like this there won't be many of us at the finish line in Dakar."

Alfie Cox ( KTM Gauloises International) 6th (at 4'26) 5th overall (at 4'58)

"I rode at my own pace and had a good day. I don't want to take any risks here as the riding in Morocco is always dangerous. A couple of times coming out of villages the navigation was a little tricky but each time I guessed right and didn't lose too much time."

Richard Sainct (Gauloises KTM France) 8th (at 5'14) 9th overall (at 10'56)

"I knew I would be able to start today but I didn't know how I would feel on the bike. In fact I felt better than I thought I would -- once my muscles had warmed up I was able to ride almost as well as normal. The important thing is that I don't fall on my arm again, that my injury improves everyday and that I stay in touch with the leaders."

Miran Stanovnik (Gauloises KTM Privateer) 19th (at 25'01) 20th overall (at 32'16)

"A couple of times the navigation was a little tricky but fortunately I got lucky. I didn't push too hard here as a mistake can be costly -- I still haven't had a crash!"

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About this article
Series Dakar
Drivers Fabrizio Meoni , Cyril Despres , Alfie Cox , Richard Sainct , Miran Stanovnik