Benavides Proud to be First Argentine Rider to Lead Dakar Rally

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In doing so, Benavides became the first Argentine rider to lead the Dakar Rally, and he admitted it was above his expectations heading into the event that he would be at the head of the field heading into the first of the Bolivian stages on Saturday.

Dakar debutant Oriol Mena, also competing for Hero MotoSports Team, finished 11th, his second top-15 stage finish. The Spaniard finished 11th, which puts him in the top 15 for the second time in the 2018 Dakar. Mena's impressive performance helped him climb up to 21st in the overall standings.

The 2018 Dakar Rally reached half time completing Stage 6 with both Indian teams showing decent progress over the day.

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I'm happy to be done for today because it was tough. and I'm delighted with having left the other guys behind.

The first part of the sixth stage from Arequipa to La Paz was cancelled owing to bad weather and foggy conditions for the riders.

"Even so, we drove well, and the Hilux ran like clockwork", said Ten Brinke from the bivouac at La Paz. Aravind had also hurt his wrist a year ago after falling off the bike and had to withdraw from the race, leaving his dreams of completing the entire Dakar route unfilled.

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CS Santosh played it safe, and ended the stage in 52nd position. Teammate and Dakar rookie Oriol Mena did considerably better finishing the stage in 23rd place and 21st overall. "Now we rest for one day and then get ready for the final leg of the Dakar", said Santosh. I was feeling a bit exhausted in the morning as I didn't have a good sleep, so it took me a little time to get going in the stage. The revised 6th stage was limited only to a 194 km of timed section, from the originally planned stage of 313 km but not before the riders tackled everything from snow, freezing temperature and rain; all this at an altitude of 4800 m.

"The dunes were really churned up and the sand was incredibly soft". His expertise not only helped him, but competitors too, who followed him on the hard trail to ensure they don't make any mistakes. "One more day to go before the much deserved rest day!" With organisers separating the route for different categories, the cars and trucks were the first to make their way through the mammoth 774km route, followed by the quads and bikes. Yet it was an injury suffered by co-driver Daniel Elena as they descended a dune that forced Loeb to bring a premature end to his 2018 Dakar.

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