Paulo Gonçalves continues to lead despite the 12th place in the stage, after Ruben

The Portuguese biker Paulo Gonçalves (Honda) held the leadership of the Dakar2016 rally today, despite having finished in 12th place […]

Paulo Gonçalves_step5
Paulo Gonçalves

The Portuguese biker Paulo Gonçalves (Honda) today held the leadership of the Dakar2016 rally, despite having finished 12th in the 5th stage, between Jujuy, in Argentina, and Uyuni, in Bolivia, which was won by Australian Toby Price (KTM).

Even better performance than Gonçalves, who finished 8.56 minutes from Price, had, despite everything, the Algarve Ruben Faria, who today concluded this second and last part of the marathon stage, that is, without mechanical assistance, in 11th place, 8.54 behind winner.

But the best Portuguese in the tirade was Hélder Rodrigues (Yamaha), when he finished in 8th place, 7.20 behind Price.

As for the other Portuguese, Mário Patrão was 28th and Pedro Bianchi Prata was 50th in this 5th stage.

Paulo Gonçalves, who complained of headache due to the altitude crossed by the stage in the Andes, admitted that this was a defensive stage, which, even so, allowed him to lose little time for the immediate pursuers, on a day without mechanical assistance.

«In the special, the first one hundred and last one hundred kilometers, especially at the end of the stage, had a very difficult navigation, but I found the right path», explained Paulo Gonçalves, speaking to the organization's website.

“The marathon is obviously difficult, because yesterday and today we added about 1700 kilometers, with 800 per stage. With the high altitude, it's difficult and that's where there can be a difference between some riders. But I think the second week will be more difficult than this one,” he added.

For his part, Ruben Faria (Husqvarna) commented: “Today we woke up at 3 am for a 315 km connection, with the cold being the main obstacle. For today's special, I decided not to attack or take any chances, as I wanted to guarantee a good final result. I was very calm and only in the final part did I attack a little more. My Husqy 450 Rally is perfect. Tomorrow we have the longest special on the Dakar. We're not even halfway through the rally and we're all very close, so I'm still fighting!”.

Ruben Faria_step5_1 (Custom)
Ruben faria

Gonçalves remained in charge of the overall standings, with 1.45 minutes ahead of Slovak Stefan Svitko (KTM), who is 2nd, and 1.47 less than Toby Price (3rd).

Also in General, Ruben Faria dropped back three positions to 8th place, Hélder Rodrigues rose one to 13th, Mário Patrão dropped three to 32nd and finally Bianchi Prata rose another three to 52nd.

As for tomorrow's stage, played at high altitude, starting and returning to Uyuni, Bolivia, the Portuguese rider from the official Honda team predicts that «it will be a great day ahead, with more than 500 kilometers, so now we need a rest".

Tomorrow, January 8th, the longest special of Dakar 2016 (542 km), in what will be the 6th day de race consecutive. And that doesn't é the only difficulty of the taken, that will take place between 3.500 and 4.200m of altitude. The rhythm and the surfaces will constantly change, alternating between sand and rock, which can be baffling, Especially if it rains. glimpses of the salty desert to Salt Uyuni are just one of the visual pleasures on the agenda.

Meanwhile, truck category, who go run separately in this sixth stage, go visit the hometown of the president Evo Morales.


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