The finish of this first portion took place on the ocean’s shores, as the vehicles dive down from the dunes along an especially steep slope towards the finish. The special stage distance was 611 km plus 208 km of connections. Ales Loprais and his copilot Josef Kalina – four-time Dakar winner – were counting on a psychological trigger to bring trouble into the well-oiled routine of the Kamaz trucks.
No one will ever know if the Russian clan is getting panicky but one thing is sure: Loprais is driving with confidence. He crossed the finish line of the Antofagasta stage a winner; this is his second consecutive stage victory in his Dakar career. In the general standings, he gets closer to the top and is now 16’22” behind Kabirov, who is still leader, and is now in front of Vladimir Chagin by almost the same time. A Czech dream might slowly but surely be coming true…
- 1st – Kabirov / Belyaev / Mokeev, Kamaz №502, 26:12:46, 00:00:00.
- 2rd – Loprais / Holan / Kalina, Tatra №504, 26:28:48, 00:16:22.
- 3rd – Chagin / Savostin / Shaysultanov, Kamaz №500, 26:40:48, 00:28:22.
- 4th – Nikolaev / Mizyukaev / Rybakov, Kamaz №512, 27:56:21, 01:43:55.
- 5th – Echter / Ruf / Klein, MAN №507, 28:38:13, 02:25:47.
Leaders in bike and car sections are still the same.