Sainz takes first Dakar stage win

Dakar dream ends for Villas-Boas

It has been an impressive start for the team upto the end of the first half of the rally, with two very good stages from Santosh, followed by a couple of hard ones and a positive progress of Dakar rookie Mena, especially in the really tough stage 5.

The other Indian left in the rally, Hero MotoSports' CS Santosh, climbed up five places to be placed 51st after the fifth stage. With this pace, the Sherco TVS Factory Rally team's lead racer has jumped up to 15th position in the overall rankings. Staying true to that tradition, the first part of the 6th stage of the Dakar Rally from Arequipa to La Paz had to be cancelled owing to bad weather and foggy conditions for the riders. Aravind was in promising 44th position after the fourth stage of the world's toughest rally raid. This also means CS Santosh will remain the only Indian rider who had completed the treacherous Dakar Rally. It was really cold start in the morning and a very long liaison, and then it started to raining making things worse. Overall good day and I brought the bike home. The competitors now get a much-deserved rest day on 12th January, to rest their exhausted and bruised bodies and minds before the second leg of the rally kicks off.

With consistent progress, Sherco TVS rider Joan Pedrero said, "I am very happy to be back on track in Bolivian territory". That's exactly what I did, and I gained back some time.

Sebastien Loeb was forced to pull out of the Dakar Rally after a back injury suffered by his co-driver in a disastrous fifth stage won by defending champion Stephane Peterhansel on Wednesday. The Indian rider had to cut his Dakar run short this year as well after a crash broke his ankle. I would like to thank all my fans and well-wishers for their love and support all through Dakar.

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The biggest happening in Stage 5 was the exit of Sherco TVS rider Aravind KP. At the Hero camp, Joaquim Rodrigues is out of contention after a nasty crash in the opening stage.

Hero MotoSports Team Rally's Oriol Mena and C.S Santosh were 27th and 28th respectively after the second day of the Dakar Rally 2018 here. The longest stage of the rally so far saw the riders cover a distance of 501 km.

As per the regulations, the riders will not be able to receive any assistance from the crew at their overnight halt at Uyuni and will be on their own.

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