The fourth stage has been fatal to the title holder Toby Price who lost control of his KTM at more than 90kmph, and managed to break his left thigh bone in the fall, leaving the bike category open for a new winner this year. After Aravind KP was ousted from the Dakar, owing to his injuries, the other Indian rider, CS Santosh managed to finish at 64th position.
The two Indian teams, TVS Sherco and Hero Motocorp Speedbrain had a mixed day. Metge and Oedrero managed to finish at 39 and 63, respectively, racing for TVS Sherco. CS Santosh’s team mate, Rodrigues had a great day and finished at 12th position in stage 4.
The participants faced five stages on the high altitude plains of Bolivian Andes. The region is home to world’s highest plateau only after Tibet. Swift acclimatisation is necessary for participants as the specials in this stage are held at altitudes over 4,000 metres. Contestants never expect to face dunes at this height and that includes extremely tricky navigational challenges, only after 400km into the special stage.