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STAGE 4

San Salvador de Jujuy > Tupiza - 521 Km

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Ranking stage 4

List of withdrawals

Stage summary

Price pays dearly whilst Despres kills two birds with one stone
Focus

The competitors commenced a series of five stages on the high plains of the Bolivian Andes, the world's second highest plateau after Tibet. Swift acclimatisation is necessary with specials contested at 3,500 and 4,000 metres. At this altitude, the competitors are not used to encountering dunes, but that was indeed the challenge faced by the riders and drivers today. In addition, the end of the stage included tricky navigation, after no less than 400 km of the special!

The essentials

It has been a sad day for Toby Price. The Australian was leading on the last part of the special, but lost control of his KTM at more than 90 kmph and fractured his left thigh bone in a fall, meaning the Dakar is over for the 2016 winner. He may well be leaving his trophy for Joan Barreda, who is solidly installed at the top of the general standings after another excellent stage that he almost won in spite of having had to open the way. In the car category, Cyril Despres had a dream of a day, picking up his first stage victory behind the wheel of a car and climbing to the top of the general standings. The Frenchman took advantage of the problems encountered by his team-mates Stéphane Peterhansel, Sébastien Loeb and Carlos Sainz, with the Spaniard in danger of exiting the rally. In the quad race, Walter Nosiglia finally won his first victory on the Dakar in his home country and not without panache. In the truck category, the title holder Gerard de Rooy (Iveco) regained his form and served up a superb battle against Airat Mardeev (Kamaz) who he beat by only 30 seconds on completion of the 416-km special, to give the Dutchman his 31st stage victory on the Dakar.

Performance of the day

Matthias Walkner never gave up against Joan Barreda, who has been head and shoulders above the rest for two days. The Austrian managed to catch his Spanish rival over the last kilometres to grab his second stage victory on the Dakar after the one he won in 2015. After two withdrawals, perhaps the time is ripe for him to achieve a fine result in Buenos Aires.

A crushing blow

The day after Nasser Al-Attiyah exited the race when he was on the point of capturing the lead in the general standings, Carlos Sainz today encountered similar misfortune. There were only eight kilometres left for the Spaniard to cover in order to make up precious ground on his rivals, when he crashed off the tracks and rolled the car into a ravine. This mishap crushed the ambitions of the winner in 2010 for this year's edition and may potentially lead to him withdrawing from the race for the fifth consecutive time.

Stat of the day

22 of the 37 quads participating are ridden by South American riders. Indeed, representatives of this continent have won the first four stages with Brazilian Marcelo Medeiros, the Argentineans Pablo Copetti and Gastón González as well as Bolivian Walter Nosiglia. What's more, the leader of the general standings, Ignacio Casale, is Chilean.

Quote of the day

Cyril Despres: “It's pretty amazing to win a stage after only three Dakars. It was not expected some years ago”.

Quotes

500 - GERARD DE ROOY: “A lot of things still could happen”
“Yesterday we had a lot of problems with the tyres; three tyres went down, so that cost us about thirty minutes. Today, I think everything went well. We really didn't make any navigation mistakes, but a lot of other people went wrong. We saw people coming from the other direction. So, I think we did a very good job today. It was a good stage. It was a mix of river beds and mountains. Some were wet and some were dry. I liked it. There's still a long race. Look at yesterday; some people made mistakes with navigation and today they made the same mistakes in the dunes. I overtook a lot of guys in the dunes. A lot of things still could happen. It's still very early”.
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Dakar Mag

Hail stones the size of golf balls

“I couldn't manage to pick the bike back up; it was like being on an ice rink”. After the intense heat in Chaco, the third stage of the Dakar gave the competitors a foretaste of what could await them on the high plains of the Andes. “It was nightmarish,” sums up Ondrej Klymciw. With a passage at above four thousand five hundred metres, the riders had to struggle through a severe hail storm. “We were getting battered by hail stones the size of golf balls,” says the Czech rider. “In just a few minutes, the tracks were covered with ice. There were bikers on the ground everywhere, it was hellish. I fell off the bike and I couldn't get it back upright”. A little earlier, Andrej also had problems due to the faulty electronics on his Tripy. “I couldn't reboot it,” says the Husqvarna rider. His problems did not stop there, because the time available to cover the one hundred and forty eight kilometre neutralised zone between the two portions of the special proved to be a little bit short for Klymciw. “I just had about enough time to refuel and then I had to ride flat out to cover the distance in two hours and forty minutes”. However, his stage had a happier ending, with a twenty-sixth placed finish.

Countries & Route

Official TV broadcasters
live timing
special n°4 bike quad car UTV truck
1st start
(gmt-4)
06:2506:2509:0209:0210:54
Number of participants
start1263076749
left1253071648
cp 11142467647
cp 21082360543
arrival1142860545