Posted on January 11, 2019

The 2019 Dakar Rally cranked up the challenge on stage four as all remaining competitors embarked on a marathon stage. Not only was there 350 kilometres of special stage to race, but also the extra jeopardy of being separated from the team mechanics overnight. Any repairs needed to the machines will need to be carried out by the competitors themselves – so they better have packed their spanners!

It was soon evident that a cautious approach to the marathon stage had gone out of the window in the car race. Dakar heavyweights Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA) and Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT) traded blows throughout the route from Arequipa to the marathon bivouac in Tacna. 13-time Dakar winner Peterhansel and co-driver David Castera (FRA) opened the road in their MINI John Cooper Works Buggy. The French duo did fantastically well to hold their position out front across the finish line. “If you compare the first three days, this was something completely different. There were no dunes at all, only big valleys with a big open landscape and lots of fesh-fesh.” – Stéphane Peterhansel

The Toyota Hilux of Al-Attiyah and co-driver Mathieu Baumel (FRA) bettered Peterhansel’s time by 1m52s to increase their lead in the general classification to 8m55s. If this nip and tuck battle continues between Al-Attiyah and Peterhansel we’ll be in for a classic contest. Al-Attiyah’s second stage win of this rally is his 33rd stage victory of an amazing Dakar career. “We have our marathon stage checklist so we’ll work through that when we get to the bivouac. Everything was working great today so I don’t think we’ll have too much to do.” – Nasser Al-Attiyah

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The third fastest car on stage four belonged to Kuba Przygonski (POL) as the 2018 FIA Cross Country Rally World Cup victor retained his place in the overall Top 5. Nine-time WRC winner Sébastien Loeb (FRA) battled back from a tough day yesterday along with Carlos Sainz (ESP) and Cyril Despres (FRA). “We had a total of three punctures so we had stop three times. The tyres were getting completely destroyed so we had to keep changing them. This cost us time, more than 30 minutes.” – Sébastien Loeb

In the bike race there was a gutsy attack from Honda rider Ricky Brabec (USA). The American biker, who has perviously only completed the Dakar once, was rewarded for his efforts on day four with a stage win and the overall lead. Hot on Brabec’s heels on stage four were the three former champions in the Red Bull KTM Factory Team. Matthias Walkner (AUT), Toby Price (AUS) and Sam Sunderland (GBR) finished the first part of the marathon stage with the second, third and fourth fastest times respectively. In the general classification it’s 2016 Dakar winner Price who leads this trio, sitting 4m22s behind Brabec in the overall. “50 kilometres from the end there was a big jump I did some damage to my ankle. At first I thought it was broken because it was so painful. We’ll see, I’ll put some ice on it tonight and we’ll see how it feels tomorrow.” – Matthias Walkner

Elsewhere in the bike race further Red Bull KTM Factory Team riders Luciano Benavides (ARG) and Laia Sanz (ESP) are climbing the leaderboard as they string together impressive results. Daniel Nosiglia (BOL) is flying the flag for his family after the retirements of his brother and father on stage three. “It was quite different this stage compared to what we have had so far. I enjoyed it and had lots of fun. We didn’t have any sand, just lots of fesh-fesh and many fast tracks.” – Daniel Nosiglia

There was an impressive move from Team Kamaz Master in the truck race on stage four as the Russians got a firm grip on the contest. Despite race leader Eduard Nikolaev (RUS) suffering a problem just 27 kilometres into the stage, he was able to battle back and retain top spot. Strong performances from fellow Kamaz truckers Andrey Karginov (RUS) and Dmitry Sotnikov (RUS) have the Russians on course to tie up all three podium places by the midway point of the Dakar. "We arrived to Tacna without any technical problems so we can prepare for the next marathon day in a good way.” – Andrey Karginov

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It was a tough day for Chaleco Lopez (CHI) in the side-by-side/UTV class as he conceded his lead in the overall rankings. Multiple stoppages on stage four cost the two-time bike race podium finisher over an hour. Two-time Dakar quad race winner Ignacio Casale (CHI) is enjoying a steady start to his SxS/UTV career, holding a place in the Top 10 after four stages. After spending tonight in the marathon bivouacs of Moquegua (bikes and quads) and Tacna (cars, trucks and UTVs) the Dakar convoy will reunite tomorrow for a race back to Arequipa. Big distances are on the menu again for stage five as the competitors are tossed into the Ilo dunes. Those who manage to make it through will be granted a well earned Rest Day on Saturday before tackling the second week of this particularly harsh Dakar Rally.


2019 Dakar Rally Car Race Top 5 (after four stages of 10)

1. Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT)/Mathieu Baumel (FRA)   Toyota   12h12m57s
2. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA)/David Castera (FRA)   Mini Buggy   +08m55s
3. Nani Roma (ESP)/Alex Haro Bravo (ESP)   Mini Rally   +20m51s
4. Kuba Przygonski (POL)/Tom Colsoul (BEL)   Mini Rally   +22m17s
5. Yazeed Al-Rajhi (SAU)/Timo Gottschalk (DEU)   Mini Rally   +24m59s

2019 Dakar Rally Bike Race Top 5 (after four stages of 10)

1. Ricky Brabec (USA)   Honda   12h33m00s
2. Pablo Quintanilla (CHI)   Husqvarna   +02m19s
3. Toby Price (AUS)   KTM    +04m22s
4. Sam Sunderland (GBR)   KTM   +05m45s
5. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA)   Yamaha   +08m56s

2019 Dakar Rally Truck Race Top 5 (after four stages of 10)

1. Eduard Nikolaev (RUS)   Kamaz   13h52m04s
2. Andrey Karginov (RUS)   Kamaz   +04m58s
3. Dmitry Sotnikov (RUS)   Kamaz   +08m39s
4. Martin Macik (CZE)   Liaz   +28m48s
5. Gerard De Rooy (NDL)   Iveco   +01h48m16s

2019 Dakar Rally SxS/UTV Race Top 5 (after four stages of 10)

1. Sergei Kariakin (RUS)   BRP   +14h32m33s
2. Gerard Farres Guell (ESP)   Can-Am   +11m26s
3. Rodrigo Javier Moreno Piazzoli (CHI)   Can-Am   +30m00s
4. Reinaldo Varela (BRA)   Can-Am   +30m30s
5. Marcos Baumgart (BRA)   Can-Am   +01h12m13s

2019 Dakar Rally Quad Race Top 5 (after four stages of 10)

1. Nicolas Cavigliasso (ARG)   Yamaha   15h49m19s
2. Jeremias Gonzalez Ferioli (ARG)   Yamaha   +34m03s
3. Gustavo Gallego (ARG)   Yamaha   +47m19s
4. Alexandre Giroud (FRA)   Yamaha   +01h06m59s
5. Tomas Kubiena (CZE)   Ibos   +01h49m51s