The world’s top adventure riders have been down in South America the past week, competing in the 33rd running of the Dakar Rally. Racing through South America since 2009, the 2012 Dakar will be taking competitors through some of the toughest terrain available in Argentina, Chile, and Peru, as The Dakar continues to live up to its name as one of the toughest races in motorsport, and this year’s rally has tragically already claimed its first life, as motorcyclist Jorge Martinez Boero of Argentina died from a cardiac arrest, after crashing during the rally’s first stage.
For Stage 6 (Fiambala-Copiapo), the weather and terrain were apparently too inhospitable, even by Dakar standards. Set to cross the Andes Mountain Range for the seventh time in the rally’s history, snow and rain at the 15,420 foot Paso de San Francisco pass was too inclement for Chilean authorities to keep the crossing open. Accordingly, today’s stage will be a convoy of all the Dakar Rally vehicles, with the rally’s itinerary changed after the border crossing in Chile from Argentina.
Overall Top 5 Results after Stage Five of the Dakar Rally:
1) Cyril Despres – France – KTM – 14hrs 19min
2) Marc Coma – Spain – KTM – at 9min 51sec
3) Helder Rodrigues – Portugal – Yamaha – at 247min 56sec
4) Chaleco Lopez – Chile – Aprilia – at 49min
5) Paolo Goncalves – Portugal – Husqvarna – at 54min 47sec (6 minute penalty)
Source: Dakar; Photos: © 2012 Maragni M. / KTM Images – All Rights Reserved