The Dakar Rally
Stage 4: Erfoud
Total stage: 249 km / Special stage: 249 km
British TEAM HRC rider Sam Sunderland rode to an unchallenged victory in a fantastic stage which helps consolidate his position at the top of the leader-board. Team-mate Hélder Rodrigues finished second in this the fourth special of the Merzouga Rally.
The first leg of the marathon stage produced good results for the riders of TEAM HRC. Sam Sunderland started out in second place with a clear goal: to win the special on the new Honda CRF450 RALLY. He was soon able to overtake yesterday’s stage winner, opening the route for more than two hundred kilometers without any navigational errors, finishing a clear first 249 kilometers later.
Hélder Rodrigues looked to make up time today, starting out in sixth position after a misreading cost him a 30’ penalty. But he was unable to keep the pace of his team-mate. Hélder had to accept the second place some 6’49 behind Sam, although it was undoubtedly a great stage for the two Honda riders. The rest of the pack finished with a deficit of more than ten minutes off the Portuguese rider, who now occupies the second overall position.
Once back at the camp in the Merzouga dunes, the bikes are not allowed to receive any mechanical assistance. The riders will be sleeping in specially-prepared hammocks before the second leg of the marathon stage begins tomorrow.
* Report based on preliminary results
|1||Sam Sunderland (TEAM HRC) 2h 52'33|
|2||Helder Rodrigues (TEAM HRC) + 06'49|
|3||Olivier Pain (YAMAHA) + 16'58|
|4||Gerard Farrés (GAS GAS) + 19'02|
|5||Jordi Viladoms (GAS GAS) + 21'05|
|1||Sam Sunderland (TEAM HRC) 9h 53'07|
|2||Helder Rodrigues (TEAM HRC) + 17'43|
|3||Olivier Pain (YAMAHA) + 27'35|
|4||Farres Guell Gerard (GAS GAS) + 41'05|
|5||Jordi Viladoms (GAS GAS) + 45'28|