Dakar 2016: Barreda Speeds Again, Five-Minute Penalty Hands Stage 5 to Goncalves

Laia Sanz, a real hero 16 photos
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HRC's Barreda Bort lost yesterday's stage due to a one-minute penalty he got for speeding along the link section, and one might think that he learned his lesson. Unfortunately for him, the scenario repeated, only this time Barreda got a five-minute penalty in Stage 4.
Despite being once more the fastest rider in the San Salvador de Jujuy Marathon stage, Barreda's penalty pushed him back to the fourth position, being forced to yield the victory to his teammate Paulo Goncalves.

Husqvarna's Ruben Faria kept close to the stage leaders and finished in third place, following Kevin Benavides, while KTM's Toby Price reduced yesterday's gap and salvaged what he could for the Austrian team. The top ten was complete with Meo, Metge, Farres Gues, Brabec and Husky rider Pablo Quintanilla.

The current overall ranking sees Goncalves in the lead, followed by Benavides, Barreda, Svitko, and Faria. Sherco's Duclos is currently tenth, while the best Yamaha rider, Helder Rodrigues is 13th.

Laia Sanz is the Stage 4 heroine as she waited by injured and unconscious Husqvarna rider Pela Renet until support arrived

Bad luck for the French rider Pela Renet in his Dakar debut. Husqvarna's rider had a brutal crash just before the end of the stage and was injured. Renet suffered a cranial traumatism and lost his consciousness.

Thankfully, Laia Sanz reached the crash site and found him lying in the middle of the road, unconscious. "At first I feared the worst," Sanz says. "He did not respond me and had a very hard time becoming conscious again. I called my crew chief Alex Doringer asking him to send a medical helicopter," she adds. The Iritrack was damaged, and the Dakar officials could not hear Sanz' voice, and that is why she used her team as a relay.

Sanz willingly sacrificed her Stage time and lost around 36 minutes until Renet was airlifted to a hospital. There he was diagnosed with head trauma and other injuries, but the doctors say his condition is not severe.

Taking a look at the General Ranking, we see Laia Sanz in the 19th position, with a 22'02" gap from the leader, and this is because the Dakar officials did not take into consideration the time she spent helping Renet as Stage time, thus rewarding her noble act and proving once more that the Dakar Rally is so much more than a simple competition.

Stage 5 comprises a 314 km (195-mile) link section and 327 km (203 miles) of special stage, from San Salvador de Jujuy to Uyuni.

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