Wins the Stage by 6 mins Over KTM’s Walkner; Holds Overall Advantage by Over 2 min;
American Ricky Brabec exploded back today on Stage 4 after a huge set back yesterday, having gotten himself lost in the dunes behind Matthias Walkner and Joan Barreda. This morning, Brabec had an 18 min deficit with 6 other riders to follow in the 2-day marathon stage.
This evening in a sequestered bivouac in the village of Moquegua Peru, Ricky Brabec holds the lead in the Dakar Rally, a first for any American since Robby Gordon’s debut effort in 2005 when he held the lead twice after winning the opening stage and again after winning stage 4 that year. Let’s put all of this into perspective- It’s astounding that Brabec fought back and shot to the front like this today, nothing short of spectacular and a thrilling gift to American spectators hoping for their first taste of total Dakar victory.
At every waypoint today, Brabec widened his lead by physically passing several of his rivals along the way but there is some concern and this explosiveness should bet tempered by the fact he sits mostly alone tonight without support staff and mechanics to tune his machine.
“Ricky is executing a really good Dakar thus this far.” Said HRC’s team official Johnny Campbell. “Yesterday, was really tough with the fog and mental stress of opening the stage. Today was a good day to attack, take back some minutes.Tomorrow they will have the second part of the marathon stage, starting with a mass start in a line. If Ricky maintains his consistency tomorrow, that will help for the final stages.”
There is some relief however that his fellow HRC Honda teammates are obliged to help him in anyway they may be able to.