Stones and dunes awaited the competitors on 2021 Dakar Stage 5. The stage from Riyadh to Al Qaisumah was considered by many to be the most difficult of the 43rd edition of the Dakar Rally. 456 km of timed special was riddled with hazards both from a terrain and navigation point of view. Click here to read our stage four report.
The danger arrived early for South African Rookie Henk Lategan. After two exceptional stages, where he finished on the podium, Lategan suffered a major accident. He rolled his Toyota Hilux near the start of the special. The driver fractured his collar bone and was airlifted to Riyadh, his co-pilot Brett Cummings was unharmed.
It was another local lad who grabbed the headlines, for all the right reasons. Former Dakar winner (and friend of Double Apex) Giniel de Villiers lit up the timesheets today as he set a blistering pace. After facing many technical challenges early in the race, Mr Consistency led from the 43-km mark. Another South African, Brian Baragwanath (Century Racing Buggy – pictured above) had an excellent day as he ran second behind his countrymen for much of the stage.
The two drivers at the front on the general classification, Nasser Al-Attiyah (Toyota) and Stephane Peterhansel were as much as 10 min adrift of De Villiers at one point. Defending champ Carlos Sainz (Mini) and Sebastien Loeb both struggled with navigation errors which cost them dearly.
Giniel kept up his impressive pace and won 2021 Dakar Stage 5. The Hilux finished almost a minute ahead of Baragwanath. The two rivals atop the leaderboard Stephane Peterhansel and Nasser Al-Attiyah finished two minutes apart in third and fourth, respectively. The Toyota driver losing more time to the Frenchman who still leads the general standings. Martin Prokop (Ford) finished fifth. De Villiers excellent performance today rocketed him up the leaderboard and he now lies just outside the top 10.
“Winning a stage on the Dakar is always special,” said De Villiers after reaching the bivouac. “And it was a great return to form for Alex and I, after some problems with navigation early on in the race. We’re still quite far back from the leaders, but you never know what happens in the Dakar, and we’ll keep pushing over the coming stages.”
General classification after 2021 Dakar Stage 5
- Stephane Peterhansel Mini 18 hours 28 min 02 sec
- Nasser Al-Attiyah Toyota +6 min 11 sec
- Carlos Sainz Mini +48 min 13 sec
- Jakub Przygonski Toyota +1 hour 04 min 49 sec
- Martin Prokop Ford +1 hour 10 min 32 sec
- Sheik Khalid Al Qassimi Peugeot +1 hour 21 min 21 sec
- Nani Roma BRX +1 hour 24 min 56 sec
- Orlando Terranova Mini +1 hour 30 min 05 sec
- Brian Baragwanath Century +1 hour 38 min 50 sec
- Sebastien Loeb BRX +1 hour 40 min 07 sec