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South Africa's Giniel de Villiers maintained his third overall position on Dakar's fifth stage by finishing the 172km timed run, from Arequipa to Arica, in fourth place.
“It was not a long stage but quite fast, twisty at the beginning. We had a small problem with the rear brakes - we lost a bit of rear brake, so we'll have to look at what the problem is tonight, but other than that it was a nice stage and beautiful along the beach,” De Villiers said.
His navigator Dirk von Zitzewitz added: “Today we could have done a bit better, but we lost time behind Guerlain Chicherit (SMG Buggy) who was not willing to let us through.”
At the front of the pack, defending champion Stephane Peterhansel extended his lead over Nasser Al-Attiyah (Buggy) to almost ten minutes after the French Mini driver came home second, just 1m23s behind the similar car of Nani Roma.
This was the sixth stage win in Roma's career and he now sits in fifth position overall. At the end of the stage, the Spaniard exclaimed: “I felt good this morning. We drove well and tried to remain concentrated throughout the special, which was magnificent. It's all going well for us for the moment. Long may it continue.”
Completing the top three in front of De Villiers was American Robbie Gordon in his Hummer, while Carlos Sainz (Buggy) was fifth and just ahead of Leonid Novitskiy (Mini).
Al-Attiyah finished the stage in seventh spot after making a navigation mistake.
In stark contrast to the relative ease of the fifth stage, Thursday's sixth stage will be difficult one with 454km of timed racing in the Atacama Desert. In fact, two thirds of the stage consists of sand dunes.
RESULTS - STAGE 5
1. Nani Roma (Mini) 1h49m40
2. Stephane Peterhansel (Mini) +1:23
3. Robby Gordon (Hummer) +1:41
4. Giniel De Villiers (Toyota) +1:51
5. Carlos Sainz (Buggy) +3:41
6. Leonid Novitskiy (Mini) +5:10
7. Nasser Al-Attiyah (Buggy) +6:01
8. Guilherme Spinelli (Mitsubishi) +6:41
9. Orlando Terranova (BMW) +7:15
10. Carlos Sousa (Great Wall) +7:54
1. Stephane Peterhansel (Mini) 10h55m32
2. Nasser al-Attiyah (Buggy) +9:54
3. Giniel De Villiers (Toyota) +33:50
4. Leonid Novitskiy (Mini) +37:35
5. Nani Roma (Mini) +37:43
6. Guerlain Chicherit (SMG) +56:34
7. Ronan Chabot (SMG) 1h10m35
8. Bernard Errandonea (SMG) +1h18:17
9. Boris Gadasin (G-Force Proto) +1h31:46
10. Pascal Thomasse (Buggy) +1h32:46