Monster Energy Honda’s Joan Barreda proved too hot to handle, on stage 5 of this year’s Dakar Rally.
In addition to clawing back 14 minutes from the race’s overall leader, the Spanish rider scaled the leaderboard to fourth place. The stage was a dune-filled adventure, very technical with demanding navigation and high altitude to complicate matters further.
There was even fesh-fesh to contend with during the offroad stretches in the earlier part of the day, the second one passed through the high dunes of Tanaka with the final stint over high-speed stony tracks.
Barreda started from ninth position, set an infernal pace from the first control point and reached the finish line after overcoming the impressive Tanaka dunes trouble-free. Barreda finished the stage with a 14’30” advantage over race leader Adrien Van Beveren.
This marks the Spaniard’s second stage victory in this Dakar, the 21st of his career and has helped him leap to fourth overall.
Barreda: “I knew that today we would have to battle to make up the time as it was the final stage in the sand dunes. I went all out, at very high speeds and it went well. I was able to pull back some minutes and we are back in the top ten that keeps us practically with the same options as the first day. This is really important and I hope that we get the chance to make up even more time.