Before we dive into Stage 5 a quick update on Chris Cork, he’s sadly joined fellow brit Sam Sunderland on the withdrawals list.
Information is pretty thin, but we’re hearing he broke his hand 40km form the end of Stage 4. The live timing shows he finished the stage, if that’s the case and he rode 40km with a broken hand that show the pure determination of a man hell bent on conquering this mad race. We wish you well Chris.
A brief update from Sam as well, he tweeted that after his navigation issues on Stage 2 he got really dehydrated, as a result he was struggling with his vision on Stage 3 and 4.
Ok, on to Stage 5, a relatively short stage today just 697km in total with a 458km special. As competitors continue through the Atacama region of Chile the dryness of the landscape will continue to beat them down, not only that elevation continues to play a part with the special rising to nearly 3000 metres.
Here’s what the organisers have to say about today:
“This is the first of the rare special stages in which all categories will compete. At the start of the race, the most confident drivers will be able to take advantage of the fast tracks to try to move up in the overall standings. But the temptation to do so may be risky, particularly in the hard-to-handle fesh-fesh areas where absolute self-control is the only guarantee of success. Overtaking here requires precision handling to the extreme.”