The main 2013 Dakar Rally Bike contenders finished Stage 4 a few moments ago .
Spanish Joan Barreda Bort (Husqvarna) – leader of general classification (GC) after stage 2 – (which he lost yesterday in stage 3 because he was only 44th and lost 33 minutes) registered an impressive performance in the hardest stage of Dakar’s week 1. He won easily leaving the 2nd fastest biker – also Spaniard Gerard Farres Guell (Honda) – 8:23 minutes behind but already with no Dakar winning hopes (he has more than 8 hours distance to the leader). Barreda Bort climbed to 4th in GC.
3rd place went to another Frenchman – David Casteau (Yamaha) – 10:42 slower than Barreda Bort.
4 times Dakar winner and major favorite Cyril Despres finished only 15th, 17:35 minutes behind, and lost the overall Dakar lead to other Frenchman: Olivier Pain (5th in Stage 4). Despres is now 3rd in GC and Casteau is 2nd, completing a French trio in the Dakar Bike GC.
Portuguese bikers did globally better than yesterday. The best rated biker – Hélder Rodrigues (Honda) – finished 5th (11:43 behind) and climbed several places in GC after yesterday’s poor performance. He is now 16th (22:15 minutes from 1st place).
Rúben Faria was the 2nd best in this stage (6th, 12:18 behind) and he still is the best placed in GC (6th as well, only 8:39 minutes behind Pain). Paulo Gonçalves – after his brilliant 2nd place yesterday – finished 18th (19:28 behind the winner) and is now 21 in GC.
Stage 5 for Bikes will start tomorrow at 12:30 CET