Top Brit Craig Bounds suffered a massive crash after way point four of stage 6 of the Dakar and is currently in hospital with a dislocated shoulder. The 38 year old Yamaha rider was running 42nd overall and was in good form when the crash happened meaning there are now no British riders left in the race after Jenifer Morgan broke her leg on stage three.
Bounds wasn’t the only rider to suffer bad luck and injury, factory BMW Motorrad rider Ze Helio who finished third on stage five is also out of the Dakar with a broken collarbone.
At the front of the field it was a good day for Portugal with Yamaha man Helder Rodrigues winning the stage after fellow countryman Ruben Faria was handed a 9m 47s penalty for not stopping at his fuel stop for the required 15minutes.
Cyril Despres claimed second place and in doing so clawed back 1m26s on overall leader Marc Coma in third place.
Coma said: "It was a very hard stage, at the start with the dunes, then with all the navigation, because it was very technical until around the 200 km point. It was a very restrictive stage and was hard to open the way. It was like I was stood still and was still in the same place since there was so much ‘fesh-fesh'. It was a really hard stage".
The remaining riders are now enjoying a much deserved rest day before the action kicks off again on Sunday.
Stage Six Results
1, Helder Rodrigues, Portugal, Yamaha, at 00:50
2, Cyril Despres, Andorra, KTM, at 3:54
3, Marc Coma, Spain, KTM, at 5:20
4. Stefan Svitko, Slovakia, KTM, at 8:07
Standings after Stage Six
1, Marc Coma, Spain, KTM, 22:40:20
2, Cyril Despres, Andorra, KTM, at 8:48
3, Francisco (Chaleco) Lopez, Chile, Aprilia, 22:12
4, Helder Rodrigues, Portugal, Yamaha, at 27:35