News 10 Jan 2015

Price climbs Dakar order with second on stage six

Rodrigues the day's winner as Dakar arrives in Iquique.

Source: KTM.

Source: KTM.

Discreet since the start in Buenos Aires, Helder Rodrigues is still capable of a major feat, as he demonstrated with his five previous stage victories on the Dakar. That figure moved up to six this evening in Iquique, after a great day for the Portuguese rider.

Ultra-consistent and ambitious, Rodrigues has always fallen short when looking for outright victory on the Dakar, despite two podium finishes in 2011 and 2012. The South American rally-raid did not seem to be smiling on him either in 2015, with so far a 10th place in the general standings which is below his expectations.

However, after a 318km special perfectly negotiated this Friday by the Portuguese rider, he now climbs to sixth in the general standings, 2m20s behind Toby Price, who was the runner-up today.

The Australian Off-Road Champion Price, participating in his first Dakar, demonstrated a good turn of speed and also navigational talent to move to fifth in the overall classification.

Paulo Gonçalves is used to good performances on the Dakar and finally clawed back time on the Barreda/Coma duo, finishing just 1m42s behind the day’s winner. The incisive Honda rider strengthened his third place in the general standings, waiting to ambush the men ahead.

Local boy Pablo Quintanilla is also ready to take advantage of any mistakes and finished fourth in Iquique. Joan Barreda and Marc Coma again rode the stage together after a minor fall by the KTM rider at the start of the special. This time it was the turn of general standings leader Barreda to take two minutes from his countryman.

This battle of the elite will not involve Jordi Viladoms, whose hopes definitively went up in smoke as he finished 35 minutes behind the day’s winner.

Simon Pavey ended the day’s stage 89th, two ahead of Llewellyn Sullivan-Pavey, which positions them 75th and 73rd respectively overall.

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