Thursday, January 8
Stage 5: Copiapo – Antofagasta
Road connection: 174 km – Selective Section: 458 km – Road connection: 65 km – Total: 697 km
The Dakar climbs up North and places its fifth bivouac in Antofagasta, next to the Pacific Ocean. The selective section starts closer to the hills about 174 km from Copiapo, aiming to escape from the camanchaca, the morning fog that raises due to the proximity between the ocean, the desert and the mountains.
The fifth special stage is played on tracks made of sand and soil cut by fesh fesh and reached up to 3000 meters!
For Willy Alcaraz and the RZR Polaris 1000XT+30, the day went relatively well, in spite of a difficult end due to a sandstorm.
“It was a great special stage, explains the RZR driver that arrives to the camp at night. It was difficult, on very rough and fast tracks. Everything was going well for me until 10 km before the finish line. Two trucks passed me and the sandstorm came up. Visibility became 0 in the dust and I could not see a thing. Even less the stones in the fesh fesh. I had two punctures and I lost time there. But I am here, in Antofagasta, and I haven’t said my last word yet.”