Dakar 2018 Stage 5 brings an end to Aravind KP's campaign

Elias Hubbard
January 14, 2018

Experienced Spaniard Joan Pedrero has been the most consistent and impressive rider for the Sherco TVS Factory Rally Team with Indian rider Aravind KP impressing in a couple of stages in what is only his second Dakar Rally.

The Stage 5 victory went to Stephane Peterhansel; the 13-time Dakar champion recorded his first stage win of 2018 Dakar. The Indian rider crashed out of the stage when he suffered a fall and broke his ankle close to the finish.

The fifth stage of the 2018 Dakar Rally saw participants make their way from San Juan de Marcona to Arequipa, the rally's last stop in Peru, before moving into Bolivia.

However, he recovered in the second half and ultimately finished as first motorcyclist in the stage, nearly three minutes before his main rival, French rider Adrien Van Beveren from the Yamaha team and six minutes ahead of the Dakar Rally 2017 champion, Briton Sam Sunderland. "So even if there were a lot of straights today and it wasn't so exciting it's nice to have a change...five days of sand is too much". The revised 6th stage was limited only to a 194 km of timed section from the original planned stage of 313 km with the riders tackling everything from snow, freezing temperatures and rain, at an altitude of 4800 metres. Aravind had also hurt his wrist a year ago after falling off the bike and had to withdraw from the race, leaving his dreams of completing the entire Dakar route unfilled. CS Santosh made a decision to play it safe, finishing the stage 52nd, taking him to an overall ranking of 51. It took everything that I had and the machine had to make it through today. He finished the sixth stage at 38th position and overall he stands at 51st place at the end of the first half.

"The dunes were really churned up and the sand was incredibly soft".

The going was harder for CS Santosh, "It was really hard day".

Hundreds of Bolivians appeared to agree with Morales as they cheered the riders and drivers, shrugging off the violence under the watchful eye of the armed forces.

The stage was a dune-filled adventure, very technical with demanding navigation and high altitude to complicate matters further. He has completed the stage 5 with the 52nd fastest time of the day.

Competitors are now en route Arequipa to La Paz, Bolivia, the world's highest capital city. I attacked towards the end of the first special because I knew I could press the advantage in the second one, especially with the tracks left by the cars.

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