Dakar Stage 5 Highlights: Sainz extends lead with second win

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The fifth stage of the 2020 Dakar Rally saw the overall leader extend his advantage over second place, while two of the other class winners had returned to competition thanks in part to the new ‘Dakar Experience’ rule.

Here are some of today’s highlights:

In the cars class, Carlos Sainz became the first repeat stage winner, doubling his advantage over defending champion Nasser Al-Attiyah to nearly six minutes.

Al-Attiyah finished second, 2:56 behind, while Stage 4 winner Stephane Peterhansel finished third, 6:11 behind. 

Two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso scored his second top 10 finish of his first Dakar, coming home in the seventh position, 12:23 behind Sainz. Alonso now trails Sainz by over three hours overall.

Overall: Carlos Sainz holds an advantage of 5:59 over Nasser Al-Attiyah.

In bikes, Toby Price became the first driver to collect multiple stage victories, winning by 1:12 over Pablo Quintanilla.

Andrew Short finished in the third position with a deficit of 2:31, while fellow American Ricky Brabec finished in the fourth position, 3:03 behind.  

Sam Sunderland, who finished first in Stage 4 before being assessed a speeding penalty that dropped him down to eighth, withdrew from the race following a heavy crash in which he injured his back and shoulder.

Overall: Ricky Brabec holds an advantage of 9:06 over Toby Price.

In side by sides, five-time bikes champion Cyril Despres took his first victory, defeating Aron Domzala by 0:41. However, because Despres was unable to complete Stage 4, he was not included in the overall classification.

Despres was able to return to action thanks in part to the new ‘Dakar Experience’ rule, which allows competitors one additional attempt to complete all stages of the race without being eligible for classification.

Conrad Rautenbach finished third, 4:14 behind.

Overall: Sergei Kariakin holds an advantage of 1:10 over Casey Currie. 

In quads, rookie Romain Dutu set the pace, finishing 0:47 over Alexandre Giroud.

However, because Dutu is racing in the Dakar Experience class following a retirement in Stage 3, he was excluded from the official results. 

Therefore, Giroud celebrated the stage win, while Ignacio Casale finished second, 1:29 behind. Giovanni Enrico finished third, 10:35 back.

Overall: Ignacio Casale holds an advantage of 31:37 over Giovanni Enrico.

In trucks, Kamaz driver Dmitry Sotnikov won his first stage, defeating teammates Anton Shibalov and Andrey Karginov by 3:06, and 3:15, respectfully. 

Overall: Andrey Karginov holds an advantage of 14:53 over Anton Shibalov.

Stage Wins:

Cars: [2] Carlos Sainz (Stage 3 and 5), [1] Vaidotas Zala (Stage 1), [1] Giniel De Villiers (Stage 2), and [1] Stephane Peterhansel (Stage 4)

Bikes: [2] Toby Price (Stage 1 and 5), [1] Ross Branch (Stage 2), [1] Ricky Brabec (Stage 3) and [1] Jose Ingacio Cornejo (Stage 4)

Side-by-sides: [1]  Aron Domzala (Stage 1), [1] Francisco Lopez Contardo (Stage 2), [1] Gerard Farres Guell (Stage 3), [1] Mitchell Guthrie (Stage 4) and [1] Cyril Despres (Stage 5)

Quads: [3] Ignacio Casale (Stage 1, 2, and 4), [1] Giovanni Enrico (Stage 3), and [1] Romain Dutu (Stage 5)

Trucks: [2] Anton Shibalov (Stage 1 and 4), [1] Siarhei Viazovich (Stage 2), Andrey Karginov (Stage 3) and [1] Dmitry Sotnikov (Stage 5)

Highlights of Stage 5 will air on NBCSN this evening at 6:00 p.m. ET.  The rally runs through Jan. 17.

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Mike Tirico and Danica Patrick team up again on NBC’s Indy 500 coverage

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Mike Tirico and Danica Patrick will return to NBC Sports’ coverage of the Indianapolis 500, which will be broadcast Aug. 23 at 1 p.m. ET on NBC (green flag at 2:30 p.m.).

Tirico and Patrick, who both joined NBC Sports for its inaugural coverage of the event last year, will reprise their roles as host and studio analyst.

One of the most versatile voices in sports, Tirico also hosts NBC Olympics’ primetime coverage, Football Night in America and many other premier events, including hosting on-site at Indianapolis Motor Speedway earlier this year for the first-ever IndyCar-NASCAR crossover weekend.

AT THE BRICKYARD: Daily Indy 500 coverage schedule on NBC, NBCSN

He again will be joined during prerace, in-race, and postrace coverage by Patrick, who became the first woman to lead the Indy 500 in 2005 and also was the first female pole-sitter in NASCAR driver.

They will make their debut together duing practice coverage on Aug. 21, on NBCSN.

“My first Indy 500 last year exceeded my very high expectations in every way,” Tirico said in a release. “Although this year’s race will take place under unprecedented circumstances, I can’t wait to get back to Indy. I’m confident that our team at the Brickyard will provide viewers with as exciting a viewing experience as possible. I am also thrilled that Danica Patrick is along for the ride again this year. We had such a great time last May and look forward to bringing Indy home for the viewers again.”

Said Patrick: “The Indianapolis 500 is an event that transcends mainstream and motorsports which is why it’s so special. We are living during a time that if we can bring people together, we should. Even if it’s not physically. I am honored to be back with the NBC Sports team and Mike Tirico. The memories I have from 15 years at IMS hold such a special place in my heart and I can’t wait to make more this year in the booth, or however we are positioned in 2020!”

This will mark NBC Sports’ second season as the exclusive home of the NTT IndyCar Series, including the Indianapolis 500, which will take place in August for the first time ever because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.