Stage 4, It looks like the leaders are riding cautiously today, holding back to let others take the point. Should be interesting to see how the stage plays out:
-Like yesterday, it would seem that the riders opening the route and making the tracks are less at ease then their pursuers. As a result, it is the day’s ninth starter, Argentinean Javier Pozzolito who seems to be leading the dance, ahead of Olivier Pain, Gerard Fares Guell, David Casteu and Kuba Przygonski. Francisco Lopez, Paulo Gonçalves and Cyril Despres are somewhat off the pace on this first zone. However, Joan Barreda Bort also seems to be doing well having started in twenty-fourth place. The first time check point is after 173 km.
-Forty five kilometres after the start of the special stage, Juan Pedrero Garcia, second in the Dakar 2013 on completion of the second stage, is having problems. He has been at a standstill for several minutes, most likely to deal with a technical problem.
-Dutchman Frans Verhoeven has been at a standstill for a good ten minutes, suffering from a technical problem that he is trying to repair by himself. He should be able to set off again soon.
-After his problems during yesterday’s stage, Husqvarna’s Spanish rider Joan Barreda Bort has the bit between his teeth today and is taking advantage of tracks that are enabling him to attack. After 105 km he currently leads, ahead of Gérard Farres Guell and David Casteu. He should reach the first time-check point in 45 minutes.
-Leading the special stage, the Spaniard has confirmed the intermediate times at CP1 after 173 km of the day’s stage. He leads Gerard Farres Guell by 5’36”, Olivier Pain by 6’47” and David Casteu by 8’05”. Cyril Despres has lost 11’33” to Barreda Bort and the situation is worse for Paulo Gonçalves, 13’34” behind, and Francisco Lopez, 15’50” behind.
CP4- Barreda, Fares, Pain, Casteau, Viladoms, Duclos, Faria. Despres could easily lose the overall lead today, number of riders close on time. But Cyril often turns it up to finish the stage, so don’t count him out yet. 18th Caselli, 41 sanz, 44 Campbell. Robby Gordon has rolled the Hummer early in the stage
Finish – First riders in to stage finish. They still have a long liason to complete the day. It looks like the stage win will go to Barreda. But second place, Yamaha’s Oliver Pain, will inherit the overall race lead. Casteu jumps to second followed by Despres and Barreda .