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.
Cars:  Carlos Sainz (Stage 3 and 5),  Vaidotas Zala (Stage 1),  Giniel De Villiers (Stage 2), and  Stephane Peterhansel (Stage 4)
Bikes:  Toby Price (Stage 1 and 5),  Ross Branch (Stage 2),  Ricky Brabec (Stage 3) and  Jose Ingacio Cornejo (Stage 4)
Side-by-sides:  Aron Domzala (Stage 1),  Francisco Lopez Contardo (Stage 2),  Gerard Farres Guell (Stage 3),  Mitchell Guthrie (Stage 4) and  Cyril Despres (Stage 5)
Quads:  Ignacio Casale (Stage 1, 2, and 4),  Giovanni Enrico (Stage 3), and  Romain Dutu (Stage 5)
Trucks:  Anton Shibalov (Stage 1 and 4),  Siarhei Viazovich (Stage 2), Andrey Karginov (Stage 3) and  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.