The route of Stage 6 is shown below. The transit is shown in green and the competitive stage is shown in red. The day started out with a 322 kilometer transit to a 277 kilometer long timed stage then a 48 kilometer transit to Iquique.
Stage 6 Route
The profile of the route shown below shows the profile running from the DSS (Depart Special Stage) to ASS (Arrival Special Stage) or from left to right.
Profile Stage 6
Today it is interesting to see some of the fast cars that are mired back in the pack finished near the front of Stage 6. Roma, Gordon, and Terranova finished 3rd, 4th, and 5th respectively, but are not really in the competition for an Overall win or even to get on the podium.
The two competitors who have the best chance to win, Al-Attiyah and DeVilliers, finished first and second, with Al-Attiyah only 37 seconds ahead of DeVilliers. The Toyota team had four cars in the top 10 positions.
Robby Gordon’s 2015 Dakar Rally Has Been Mostly Downhill
The top 10 finishers for today’s Stage 6 are presented below.
2015 Dakar Rally Car Class Results Stage 6
|1||AL-ATTIYAH (QAT)BAUMEL (FRA)||MINI||02:37:18||–|
|2||DE VILLIERS (ZAF)VON ZITZEWITZ (DEU)||TOYOTA||02:37:55||00:00:37|
|3||ROMA (ESP)PERIN (FRA)||MINI||02:38:42||00:01:24|
|4||GORDON (USA)CAMPBELL (USA)||GORDINI||02:39:03||00:01:45|
|5||TERRANOVA (ARG)GRAUE (ARG)||MINI||02:43:06||00:05:48|
|6||TEN BRINKE (NLD)COLSOUL (BEL)||TOYOTA||02:45:22||00:08:04|
|7||ALRAJHI (SAU)GOTTSCHALK (DEU)||TOYOTA||02:45:33||00:08:15|
|8||HOLOWCZYC (POL)PANSERI (FRA)||MINI||02:49:16||00:11:58|
|9||VAN LOON (NLD)ROSEGAAR (NLD)||MINI||02:50:36||00:13:18|
|10||LAVIEILLE (FRA)MAIMON (FRA)||TOYOTA||02:50:41||00:13:23|
In the overall standings Al-Attiyah slightly stretched his lead over DeVilliers. The Peugeot team which started the 2015 Dakar with such promise has now faded back in the field. With Sianz retired from the Dakar, their best hope is Stephane Peterhansel, but he is starting to look like a long shot at this time.
Nasser Al-Attiyah Continues To Look Strong
The Overall Car Class standings after six stage is as presented below.
2015 Dakar Rally Car Class Standings After Stage 6
|1||AL-ATTIYAH (QAT)BAUMEL (FRA)||MINI||19:30:44||–||00:02:00|
|2||DE VILLIERS (ZAF)VON ZITZEWITZ (DEU)||TOYOTA||19:41:56||00:11:12||–|
|3||ALRAJHI (SAU)GOTTSCHALK (DEU)||TOYOTA||19:59:28||00:28:44||–|
|4||HOLOWCZYC (POL)PANSERI (FRA)||MINI||20:31:37||01:00:53||–|
|5||TEN BRINKE (NLD)COLSOUL (BEL)||TOYOTA||20:35:07||01:04:23||–|
|6||VAN LOON (NLD)ROSEGAAR (NLD)||MINI||20:37:27||01:06:43||–|
|7||LAVIEILLE (FRA)MAIMON (FRA)||TOYOTA||20:58:06||01:27:22||–|
|8||SOUSA (PRT)FIUZA (PRT)||MITSUBISHI||21:13:29||01:42:45||–|
|9||CHABOT (FRA)PILLOT (FRA)||SMG||21:20:11||01:49:27||–|
|10||PETERHANSEL (FRA)COTTRET (FRA)||PEUGEOT||21:20:25||01:49:41||–|
In the Bike Class it is becoming clear what Joan Barreda is doing. (Or maybe I’m just thinking like what I’d do if I were him or his team manager.) He has about a 12 minute lead and he plans on riding that lead to the end, even if the Dakar Rally is less than half finished. Yesterday he stopped on the stage to let Coma catch up with him and then he followed Coma to the end, losing the 2 minutes starting difference. Today because Coma finished ahead Barreda yesterday, Coma started in front of Barreda. So Barreda rode fast to catch up with Coma today, then rode with him to the end. Because Barreda caught Coma, Barreda won the two minutes back that he lost yesterday. Tomorrow Barreda will start two minutes ahead of Coma, my guess is the Barreda will stop again and let Coma catch up, then follow him again, losing two minutes. In theory Barreda can alternate winning and losing 2 minutes every day until the end of the rally. As long as Barreda rides with Coma, then Coma will not be able to make up the time difference unless he throws caution to the wind and takes chances by really pushing. Really pushing can lead to big time problems which can be counter productive.
Now if I was Coma or the KTM team manager, then I would set up one of the other KTM riders to be a jack rabbit on a day that Coma starts in front of Barreda. The jack rabbit has to be a KTM rider that starts ahead of Coma and then let Coma catch up. Once they get together (and they still have to be ahead of Barreda, so it has to be early in the stage) then the jack rabbit has to go very fast, blazing the trail for Coma. Then at the stage finish the jack rabbit slows up and to finish behind Coma to put a further two minutes between Barreda and Coma on the next day’s start. Coma has to break free of Barreda.
Maybe I’m just imagining things, but strategy is strategy.
Today, some very good riders finished on the stage podium, as Coma and Barreda played “cat and mouse”. The second place finisher, Price, has shown that he is very good rider.
Today’s Stage 6 finishing order, at least the top 10, is presented below.
2015 Dakar Rally Stage 6 Results
|6||BARREDA BORT (ESP)||HONDA||03:47:30||00:07:20|
The picture below shows Marc Coma getting ready to start Stage 6.
Marc Coma Awaits The Signal To Start Stage 6
Barreda finishes Stage 6 with a 12 minute 27 second lead over Marc Coma in second place.
2015 Dakar Rally Bike Class Overall Standings After Stage 6
|1||BARREDA BORT (ESP)||HONDA||21:38:35||–|
|9||DUCLOS (FRA)||SHERCO TVS||22:31:31||00:52:56|
Marc Coma needs to figure out how to escape from Barreda to move up into first place.
Marc Coma Deep In Thought