Dakar: Stage 5 Agadir to Smara notes

Stage 5: Agadir to Smara January 4, 2005 Liaison 240 km - Special 381 km - Liaison 33 km Total 654 km Before attacking the first long - Special, there will be a warm up session on a tarmac road to Guelmin. The start of the special, between the...

Stage 5: Agadir to Smara
January 4, 2005
Liaison 240 km - Special 381 km - Liaison 33 km
Total 654 km

Before attacking the first long - Special, there will be a warm up session on a tarmac road to Guelmin. The start of the special, between the hills, will allow high speeds but the very rocky tracks that follow will force drivers to reduce their pace.

Stage 5: 2005-01-04, Agadir to Smara.
Photo by A.S.O.
The level of difficulty will move up a scale here. The rest of the - Special will alternate between slow and fast stretches, on a mainly sinuous track.

This second part, never taken before by any of the competitors, will end with a very long "chott". From this stage onwards competitors' positions may change and leads may be established.

General:

08:06 The real stuff...
With 654 km planned for this stage including 381 of special, the competitors face the first long African stage of the race today where endurance and a clear mind will be precious. Before entering in the heart of Southern Morocco, the competitors won't yet be in sandy landscapes but the most inexperienced will meet tracks known to be extremely rocky and difficult.

The cancellation of the first Moroccan special, that was planned to come as a good preparation is particularly bad news for the newcomers on bikes who will immediately discover the real difficulties of a Dakar. The car drivers will have able to have a warm-up but will still need to be extremely careful, especially with the rocks that could prove to be vicious. Robby Gordon, the overall car leader who proved to be very fast on the short courses of the first specials should, according to race director Patrick Zaniroli, "drive at a normal Dakar pace to eventually make it to the end of the rally".

Bike:

11:49 Caldecott leads at CP1
After the first 111km at check point 1, Andy Caldecott (KTM -- n23) has managed the best time so far. The Australian rider leads with a 19" advantage on Marc Coma (KTM -- n6) while Kellon Walsh (KTM -- n21) is 1'38" adrift. Overall leader after the Agadir stage, David Fretigne (YAM -- n12) is 8'35" behind.

13:07 Many falls
In the first 111km of the special, quite a few falls were suffered in the bike race. Both Jordi Duran (KTM -- n16) and Arvis Winters (KTM -- n30) had serious crashes.

13:07 Troubles for Despres and Fretigne
Two top bikers suffered navigation and technical worries in the half of the day's special. Overall leader David Fretigne followed a wrong path when seeing bike tracks and dust coming from tourist bikers. Cyril Despres (KTM -- n2) has broken a kilometre control.

13:08 Coma new leader at CP2
At check point 2 (km 184), Spaniard Marc Coma (KTM -- n6) is the new special leader after clocking the best time at the CP. Coma has a tiny 2sec lead on Andy Caldecott (KTM -- 23) and 3'29" on Despres (KTM -- n2). Frenchman David Fretigne is 9'04" adrift.

13:08 Duran quits
After a fall just before CP1 (at km 100), Jordi Duran (KTM -- n16) was forced to withdraw with a collar bone and femur fracture. The Spaniard had finished fourth in the Granada special and was seventh overall.

15:19 Caldecott wins special
Andy Caldecott (KTM -- 23) clocked the best time of the day's special in a final time of 4h13'13". The Australian wins his first ever Dakar stage in two appearances (he was forced to withdraw after breaking a leg last year). Caldecott beats Marc Coma (KTM -- n6) by only 3" while Cyril Despres (KTM -- n2) is third at 3'30. Marc Coma takes command of the overall lead with a 42" advantage on Caldecott and 2'45". Former overall leader David Fretigne (YAM -- n12) finished the special over 10min adrift and is now at 9'34 from the new overall leader.

Car:

15:22 Gordon leads at CP1
Leaving first for the timed special after winning yesterday's stage, Robby Gordon (VW -- n317) has the fastest time at CP1 (km 111). Second is his Race Touareg team mate Bruno Saby (VW -- n307) at 3'15 while Peterhansel (MIT -- n306) is over 5' adrift.

15:50 McRae leads at CP2
At the second check point of the day (km 184), Colin McRae (NIS -- 308) has managed the best time of the car race. The Scot leads by a 1'25" margin on team mate Ari Vatanen (NIS -- n311). After the two Nissan vehicles come a Volkswagen trio with Juha Kankunnen (VW -- n313) third at 4'24", Jutta Kleinschmidt (VW -- n310) fourth at 5'33" and Robby Gordon (VW -- n317) fifth at 5'35.

Truck:

16:24 De Rooy Jnr fastest at CP1
Gerard De Rooy (DAF -- n516) clocked the fastest time of the truck race at the first CP (km 111). The Dutch driver has a 1'42" lead on Tchaguine (KAM -- n515) and 2'59 on Loprais (TAT -- n519).

Car:

16:45 McRae still in the lead
At the third check point of the special (km 280), Colin McRae (NIS -- n308) still was the fastest of the car special.

The Scot has a 3'59" lead on team mate Giniel De Villiers (NIS -- n314) and 4'20" on Jutta Kleinschmidt (VW -- n310). Also on a Race Touareg, Juha Kankkunen (VW -- n313) was fourth ahead of Alphand (MIT -- n312). 90kms are still to be competed on.

17:02 Cars - McRae wins special
With 13 vehicles on the finish line of the special, Colin McRae (NIS -- n308) has clocked the fastest time of the day. The Scot beat team mate Giniel De Villiers (NIS -- n314) by 6'15 to clinch his second special on the rally (for a total of four special wins in two rallies). Third is Jutta Kleisnchmidt (VW -- n310) at 7'18", ahead of Nasser Al Attiyah (BMW -- n318) at 7'20". Luc Alphand is fifth, 8'15" adrift. Stephane Peterhansel (MIT -- n306) suffered quite a few punctures during the race and finished over 24' behind. McRae also captures the overall with a 5'283 lead on De Villiers.

Truck:

18:34 De Rooy on his way to victory
At CP3 (km 280), Gerard De Rooy (DAF -- n516) was on his way to a special success with a huge 14'51" advantage on father Jan (DAF -- n521). Third, with 90kms to go, was Vladimir Tchaguine (KAM -- n515), over 17' behind while Kabirov (KAM -- n520) was at 17'25".

If things remain this way, De Rooy Junior would become the new overall leader with over 15' on Tchaguine.

19:12 De Rooy crashes
In the last kilometres of the special, Gerard De Rooy (DAF -- n516) suffered a serious crash (at km 310) while he was comfortably leading the race. The truck ended on its side. The younger of the De Rooy family was waiting from some help from his father Jan (DAF -- n521) to put the truck back on its wheels and possibly carry on the stage.

19:45 Tchaguine wins special
After trailing way behind Gerard de Rooy all the way to CP 3 (km 280), Vladimir Tchaguine (KAM -- n515) eventually clinched the stage after the young Dutch driver suffered a serious crash. Second of the special is Andre De Azevedo (TAT -- n518), 1'46" behind while team mate Karel Loprais (TAT -- n519) was 4'26" adrift. Tchaguine comforts his overall lead.

-www.dakar.com

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About this article
Series Dakar
Drivers Robby Gordon , Colin McRae , Luc Alphand , Jutta Kleinschmidt , Stéphane Peterhansel , Ari Vatanen , Cyril Despres , Gerard de Rooy , Bruno Saby , Karel Loprais , Marc Coma , David Fretigne , Jordi Duran , Andy Caldecott