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Joan Pedrero Wins Dakar Stage Four as Joan Barreda’s Lead Is Slashed

Allan Roberts The Leading Aussie As Ben Grabham Retires

Author: Aaryn Minerds

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Joan Pedrero Wins Dakar Stage Four as Joan Barreda’s Lead Is Slashed
Stage 4 of the 2014 Dakar saw Sherco rider Joan Pedrero take his maiden win at the end of a special while race lead Joan Barreda had his lead dwindled down to just over 3 minutes.

Pedrero, showed he has outgrown his previous role as Marc Coma's lieutenant at KTM by lighting the fireworks and bringing his Sherco across the finish line 29 second ahead of KTM mounted Chaleco LÌ_pez, while Coma himself finished 3 minutes and 10 seconds behind stage winner Pedrero, with both Lopez and Coma subsequently moving into striking distance of race leader heading into the day, Honda's Joan Barreda.

Barreda who had a handy 15 minute plus lead heading into the day's stage made a wrong turn with just 80km to go on stage four from San Juan to Chilecito with the mistake costing him a lot of time.

The Spanish rider was able to re group and cross the finish line in 6th place for the stage and now holds a slender 3 minute and 10 second lead over Coma, while Lopez moved into third place at the conclusion of stage four just over five minutes off the lead.

"I was going well in the stage, until about 80 km from the end when I took a wrong turning after seeing a note at the river crossing." Barreda explained. "I‰Ûªd spent a long time yesterday going over the roadbook which also indicated another way.

"I lost a lot of time. I went back to the same place, and then took the same wrong direction. I fell while I was trying to make up the lost time.

"The good thing is that I‰Ûªve been able to salvage something out it, I lost a bit of time, but we continue to be ahead. Tomorrow is another day and we will try and rectify everything," he concluded.
Joan Pedrero Wins Dakar Stage Four as Joan Barreda’s Lead Is Slashed
An electrical problem cost Despres over 40 minutes in the final few kilometres of stage 4 - Credit: Yamaha Racing
Another rider to lose out big time on stage four was 2013 winner and five time former champion Cyril Despres. The French Factory Yamaha rider experienced a frustrating set back on the days special stage suffering from an electrical issue just 9km from the end of the stage whilst running as virtual leader of the rally.

The support holding his Iritrack broke, causing a short circuit in the electrical system that brought his bike to a halt leaving him sixth overall and 41 minutes down on the leader.

"Everything was going perfectly and the strategy I‰Ûªd devised with Mika was paying off handsomely." Despres stated. "170 kilometres from the end I was riding with Marc (Coma) and Joan (Barreda) and shortly after that Marc and I managed to break away and I became the virtual overall leader.

"I‰Ûªd be lying if I said I wasn‰Ûªt disappointed but I‰Ûªve been here before and still reached the top of the final podium," he added.

"It would have been so easy to have abandoned out in the special and catch the next plane home, but I love this race, I love riding my bike and most of all I love a challenge and as long as I believe I have a fighting chance I‰Ûªll do exactly that ‰ÛÒ keep fighting.‰Û
Joan Pedrero Wins Dakar Stage Four as Joan Barreda’s Lead Is Slashed
Unfortunately for Ben Grabham his 2014 Dakar is over -
Credit:
One of the casualties of day four was Australia's own Ben Grabham who was forced to retire from the event after a heavy crash. The good news is though bruised and sore, Grabham is doing fine and was able to check out of hospital after an examination. For more information on Grabhma's day four experience, CLICK HERE

Clayton Jacobsen is another Australian rider to be ruled out of the 2014 Dakar during the marathon stages due to a technical error according to a post on his FACEBOOK PAGE.

"Seriously disappointing news - Clayton has been disqualified with six other riders due to some technical error, they argued for hours with officials to let them stay in the race but all six were not allowed to continue." a post that was posted the page read today.

The third Australian who looks to be out of the race is Mark Davidson who has not posted a stage result for the second straight day. We have spoken to Linden Forbes who is part of Australian Yamaha rider Shane Dieners support team and he has reported that it looked as if all three of the retired Australian riders were OK but had retired from the event for various reasons.

Shane Diener himself was able to make it through stage three and four, that has lost over 3 hours on course which was compounded by a 2 hour time penalty and he now sits 73 in the motorcycle classification over eight hours behind the race leader.

The other Australian's that remain in the race, Allan Roberts and Troy O'Connor finished stage four in 35th and 44th positions respectively with Roberts dropping 1 hour and 39 minutes on the stage and O'Connor a further six minutes on top of that.

Roberts now sits in 52nd position 5 hours and 18 minutes behind Barreda while O'Connor is one position further back in 53rd 17 minutes behind his fellow Australian.

With very little rest riders now the biggest stage of the race that will see them cover 911km and face 527 km under the clock as they make their way from Chilecito to Tucuman.
Joan Pedrero Wins Dakar Stage Four as Joan Barreda’s Lead Is Slashed
Shane Diener may have lost a lot of time but he has made it through stage five and will take off for stage 5 in a few hours time - Credit: LInden Forbes
Provisional Stage 4 Results - San Rafael to San Juan:
1. Juan Pedrero Garcia (ESP, Sherco) 05:29:13 hrs
2. Francisco Lopez (CHL, KTM) +00:00:29
3. Marc Coma (ESP, KTM) +00:03:10
4. Jeremias Israel Esquerre (CHL, Speedbrain) +00:06:30
5. Olivier Pain (FRA, Yamaha) +00:07:01
6. Joan Barreda (ESP, Honda) +00:13:56
7. Paulo Goncalves (PRT, Honda) +00:18:38
8. Ivan Jakes (SVK, KTM) +00:19:30
9. Alain Duclos (FRA, Sherco) +00:23:13
10. Daniel Gouet (CHL, Honda) +00:24:38
35. Allan Roberts (Aus, KTM) +01:39:12
44. Troy O'Connor (Aus, KTM) +01:45:37
96. Shane Diener (Aus, Yamaha) +05:35:58

Provisional Overall Standings after Stage 4:
1. Joan Barreda (ESP, Honda) 15:39:53 hrs
2. Marc Coma (ESP, KTM) +00:03:10
3. Francisco Lopez (CHL, KTM) +00:05:12
4. Alain Duclos (FRA, Sherco) +00:25:55
5. Olivier Pain (FRA, Yamaha) +00:29:38
6. Cyril Despres (FRA, Yamaha) +00:41:17
7. David Casteu (FRA, KTM) +00:42:17
8. Jeremias Israel Esquerre (CHL, Speedbrain) +00:46:33
9. Jordi Viladoms (ESP, KTM) +00:49:14
10. Jakub Przygonski (POL, KTM) +00:54:52
52. Allan Roberts (Aus, KTM) +05:18:20
53. Troy O'Connor (Aus, KTM) +05:35:19
73. Shane Diener (Aus, Yamaha) +08:23:51

Top Image: Joan Barreda remains the race leader though had his lead cut by over 12 mintues on stage four

Credit: Honda Racing

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