Rallye

Dakar Stage 4: Walkner takes the win Barreda still leads

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Red Bull KTM factory rider Matthias Walkner of Austria has taken the stage four victory of the Dakar Rally 2017 finishing just over two minutes ahead overall leader Joan Barreda, Xavier de Soultrait rounded out the top three, Walkner now sits in third place overall.

The 416 kilometre special subjected the competitors to the first dunes seen so far in the rally, requiring some serious focus and deft navigation skills. Many riders went astray and dropped time. The stage also saw the departure of defending champion Toby Price with the Australian crashing out of the stage with a suspected broken leg.
Stage 4 winner Matthias Walkner. Credit: Marcin Kin
Walkner didn't have the easiest of days but was still quick enough to notch up his second career stage win.

"Actually at the beginning of the stage I didn‰Ûªt feel so good and I got a bit lost, like everybody, I think, because it was tricky navigation," Walkner explained. "After I had a good speed but I didn‰Ûªt think it would be enough to win.‰Û
Joan Barreda was second acrros the line but still holds the overall lead
"I‰Ûªm happy because I had a great stage today. The first part was very picturesque. I felt good and comfortable without making any navigational errors and kept up a good pace," Barreda said.

"I got off to a flying start over the first few kilometres and was very focused in the dunes, being very careful not to make any mistakes with the roadbook. I only slowed the pace down in the final part of the day with the arrival in Bolivia, where there were river-crossings and a lot of rocks. I happy because I was ahead all day and I‰Ûªve increased the advantage at the top of the general standings. It is a shame what has happened to Toby Price. Hopefully it‰Ûªs nothing too serious and he will get over it soon and be back at full speed on the track soon," Barreda concluded.

From an Australian standpoint it was bad news with Toby Price crashing out and Rodney Faggoter withrawing with mechanical drama's but the two Aussie privateers are still kicking and fighting with Todd Smith finishing an impressive 14th on todays fourth stage and Matt Hart finished in 43rd position.

Friday they continue onto Oruro, a stage or 786 km, with another massive 527 km making up the timed special. The stage goes across the Bolivian Altiplano with a whole range of mixed terrain. It will be another long day at altitudes over 3500 meters, which will continue to sap riders‰Ûª energy. The rally‰Ûªs one rest day is Sunday in La Paz.

Stage 4 Dakar Rally 2017 - Thursday, January 5th 2017
1 Walkner Matthias 14 AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM 4:57'22
2 Barreda Joan 11 SPA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +2'02
3 de Soultrait Xavier 23 FRA Viltais Racing Team HFP Yamaha +5'58
4 Metge Michael 15 FRA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +8'18
5 Svitko Stefan 2 SLO Slovnaft Team KTM +8'33
6 Quintanilla Pablo 3 CHI Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +9'22
7 Farres Gerard 8 SPA Himoinsa Team KTM +10'24
8 Renet Pierre-Alexandre 31 FRA Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +12'30
9 Caimi Franco 67 ARG Honda South America Rally Team Honda +13'03
10 Van Beveren Adrien 6 FRA Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +13'11
12 Brabec Ricky 9 USA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +16'05
13 Sunderland Sam 16 GBR Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +16'18
14 Smith Todd 76 AUS Duust Rally Team KTM +23'11
15 Rodrigues Helder 5 POR Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +24'31
16 Salvatierra Juan Carlos 32 BOL Duust Rally Team KTM +25'21
17 Goncalves Paulo 17 POR Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +14'56

Provisional Standings After Day 4 - 2017 Dakar Rally Thursday, January 5th 2017
1 Barreda Joan 11 SPA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda 12:35'43
2 Quintanilla Pablo 3 CHI Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +18'19
3 Walkner Matthias 14 AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +20'26
4 Svitko Stefan 2 SLO Slovnaft Team KTM +24'11
5 Sunderland Sam 16 GBR Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +24'31
6 Goncalves Paulo 17 POR Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +25'45
7 Farres Gerard 8 SPA Himoinsa Team KTM +30'21
8 de Soultrait Xavier 23 FRA Viltais Racing Team HFP Yamaha +30'57
9 Brabec Ricky 9 USA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +31'50
10 Van Beveren Adrien 6 FRA Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +33'09
11 Renet Pierre-Alexandre 31 FRA Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +33'32
12 Caimi Franco 67 ARG Honda South America Rally Team Honda +39'28
13 Metge Michael 15 FRA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +41'58
14 Jakes Ivan 20 SLO Jakes Dakar Team KTM +1:04'02
15 Rodrigues Helder 5 POR Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +1:19'59

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