Editor’s note: Check out Stage 4 highlights tonight on NBCSN at 12 a.m. ET.
Tuesday’s fourth stage of the Dakar Rally saw the second big name of the event withdraw.
Defending Rally Motorcycle champion Sam Sunderland of the United Kingdom suffered a debilitating back injury near the end of the stage. He attempted to finish the round but fell short, and then was transported by helicopter to a local hospital after losing feeling in his legs after a hard jump.
Sunderland, who had won both Stage 1 and Stage 3, becomes the second big name and anticipated favorite to exit the Rally in the first four stages.
Car driver Bryce Menzies from the U.S. and co-driver Peter Mortensen were knocked out of the Rally after a hard crash in Stage 2 that destroyed their Mini.
While both Menzies and Mortensen were uninjured, it ended what arguably was the best chance for any U.S. competitor to win a Rally title in any of the five major classes in this year’s tournament.
Here’s a breakdown of how Stage 4 played out on Tuesday:
Sunderland was in the lead in both the stage and overall rating when his accident occurred Tuesday. He tried to finish the route but came up short of completing his ride.
As a result, France’s Adrien van Beveren not only won the stage, he also took the overall lead, both from Sunderland. France’s Xavier de Soutrait finished second, followed by Austria’s Matthias Walkner in third.
Of note was the huge rebound of Spain’s Joan Barreda Bort, who fell to 28th in the overall standings following Monday’s Stage 3 after missing a turn and having to backtrack.
Barreda Bort bounced back to finish ninth Tuesday with a time of 4:18:23 and climbed back to 13th in the overall standings.
Also of note, American rider Mark Samuels jumped from 109th in Stage 3 to finish 35th in Stage 4.
STAGE 4 RESULTS
- France’s Adrien van Beveren, Yamaha, 4:08:23
- France’s Xavier de Soutrait, Yamaha, 4:13:24
- Austria’s Matthias Walkner, KTM, 4:15:33
- Chile’s Pablo Quintanilla, Husqvarna, 4:15:55
- Slovakia’s Stefan Svitko, KTM, 4:16:08
AMERICAN RIDERS STAGE 4 RESULTS
22nd: Andrew Short (Husqvarna), 4:27:16
24th: Ricky Brabec (Honda), 4:32:07
28th: Shane Esposito (KTM), 4:40:16
35th: Mark Samuels (Honda), 4:50:59
95th: Bill Conger (Husqvarna), 7:03:19
- France’s Adrien van Beveren
- Chile’s Pablo Quintanilla
- Argentina’s Kevin Benevides
- Austria’s Matthias Walkner
- France’s Xavier de Soutrait
France’s Sebastien Loeb won Stage 4, followed by Spain’s Carlos Sainz and France’s Stephane Peterhansel.
Two-time Rally champion Nasser Al-Attiyah, of Qatar, won Stages 1 and 3, but was forced to stop twice in Stage 4 and finished 11th.
France’s Cyril Despres, who came into Stage 4 second in the overall rankings, suffered a broken rear wheel about halfway through the course and it appears he will join Menzies and Sunderland as being out of the tournament for good.
Lastly, Nani Roma, who crashed at the end of Stage 3 on Monday, apparently suffered more serious injuries than first thought.
He was airlifted to a Lima hospital with head and neck injuries. While he did not suffer any fractures, he was expected to remain in the hospital for several days.
STAGE 4 RESULTS
- France’s Sebastien Loeb, Peugeot, 3:57:53
- Spain’s Carlos Sainz, Peugeot, 3:59:28
- France’s Stephane Peterhansel, Peugeot, 4:01:09
- Finland’s Mikko Hirvonen, Mini, 4:32:29
- Italy’s Eugenio Amos, Ford, 4:33:39
- France’s Stephane Peterhansel
- France’s Sebastien Loeb
- Spain’s Carlos Sainz
- Qatar’s Nasser Al-Attiyah
- Netherland’s Bernhard ten Brinke
Defending Rally champion, Russia’s Eduard Nikolaev, won his second stage of the event, holding off Argentina’s Federico Villagra and the Czech Republic’s Martin Kolomy.
STAGE 4 RESULTS
- Russia’s Eduard Nikolaev, Kamaz, 4:35:08
- Argentina’s Federico Villagra, Iveco, 5:03:05
- Czech Republic’s Martin Kolomy, Tatra, 5:13:57
- Japan’s Teruhito Sugawara, Hino, 5:48:23
- Netherland’s Gert Huznik, Renault, 5:51:41
- Russia’s Eduard Nikolaev
- Argentina’s Federico Villagra
- Belarus’s Siarhei Vlazovich
- Czech Republic’s Martin Macek
- Japan’s Teruhito Sugawara
- Russia’s Sergei Kariakin, Yamaha, 4:56:34
- Chile’s Ignacio Casale, Yamaha, 4:57:17
- Peru’s Alexis Hernandez (Yamaha), 5:02:05
- Argentina’s Gustavo Gallego (Yamaha), 5:04:35
- France’s Axel Dutrie, Yamaha, 5:04:48
- Chile’s Ignacio Casale
- Russia’s Sergei Kariakin
- Peru’s Alexis Hernandez
- Argentina’s Pablo Copetti
- Argentina’s Gustavo Gallego
- France’s Patricie Garroueste, Polaris, 5:43:45
- Brazil’s Reinaldo Varela, Can-Am, 6:09:18
- Peru’s Anibal Aliaga, Polaris, 7:28:50
- France’s Claudio Fournier, Polaris, 7:35:00
- Spain’s Jose Pena Campos, Polaris, 7:44:08
- France’s Patricie Garrouste
- Peru’s Juan Uribe Ramos
- Brazil’s Reinaldo Varela
- Peru’s Anibal Aliaga
- France’s Claudio Fournier
STAGE 5: On Wednesday, the Rally begins in San Juan de Marcona, Peru and ends in Arequipa, Peru