Stage 5 - San Juan De Marcona to Arequipa 266km timed special, 508km liaison – 774km total
As stage victories go, factory Honda rider Joan Berreda’s domination of stage five of the 2018 Dakar could be significant. Cited as one of the key stages of this years race, Barreda who had seemingly ruled himself out of contention following costly mistakes on both stage 3 and stage 4, hit back in style.
Helped by starting ninth, the 34 year old Spaniard won the stage by a massive 10m 26s ahead of official KTM rider Matthias Walkner who continues to run at the sharp end of the race.
It was a near perfect day for the Monster Energy Honda Team with Argentinian Kevin Benavides securing third position on the stage.
Barreda said: “Today was important because it was the last day in the dunes in Peru. It was important to try and attack and recover the minutes I lost on the third day. I really pushed, we did the perfect stage and I am happy.
Asked if he is still in a position to fight for the win, he said: “Yes, we are in the group of top ten riders. We still need to recover some minutes, but the race is long and for sure we will find the opportunity.”
Although unable to repeat his brilliant stage four win, it was another good day for factory Yamaha rider Adrien Van Beveren who still leads the overall standings after stage 5. After opening the track, the 26 year old Frenchman finished an impressive 5th fastest losing only 14m35s to Barreda and will have the chance to chase down the Spaniard on stage 6 tomorrow.
Stage 5 results
- Joan Barreada ESP Honda 3h19m42s
- Matthias Walkner AUT KTM +10m 26s
- Kevin Benavides ARG Honda +12m 20s
- Antoine Meo FRA KTM +13m
- Adrien Van Beveren FRA Yamaha +14m 35s
Overall results at the end of stage 5
- Adrien Van Beveren FRA Yamaha 14h37m40s
- Kevin Benavides ARG Honda +1m
- Matthias Walkner AUT KTM +1m14s
- Joan Barreda ESP Honda +7m33s
- Xavier De Soultrait FRA Yamaha +7m42s