- Third place for Carlos Sainz
- Tough start to week two of the Dakar
After Saturday’s rest day, stage six of the 2019 Dakar took the crews from Arequipa to San Juan de Marcona. The Tanaca dunes proved particularly challenging for the competitors. Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz (both ESP) finished third, followed by the French duo of Cyril Despres and Jean-Paul Cottret. Luck was not on the side of Stéphane Peterhansel and Davide Castera (both FRA), who had to settle for sixth place today.
Sainz was extremely quick today, but was not able to make the most of his performance: “I had to stop for three flat tires,” said the Spaniard. “The tire pressure system did not work properly. I then had to drive with a high tire pressure, which made the day very difficult, as we had to find a suitable route.”
Despres and Cottret followed the two Spaniards over the finish line. The French pair was also in excellent form today: “Tanaca is a special place – a bit like Fiambala in Argentina. The dunes are very soft, so you are always afraid of getting stuck,” explained Despres. “That was actually my best day so far – until we lost our way looking for a waypoint. That moment turned a good day into a mediocre day.” Despres now lies fifth in the overall standings.
Peterhansel was very unfortunate, losing a lot of time when he became stuck in the dunes. “I got stuck shortly before the end of the first part of the special stage,” said the Frenchman. “After that, I pushed hard. However, we then had two punctures. It was not a good day. It will now be very hard to catch Nasser.” The Frenchman slipped back into third place overall after today’s struggles.
Tomorrow’s stage is a loop around the bivouac in Marcona. The competitors face a total of 386 kilometers, 323 of which are against the clock.