Four hundred and twenty three kilometres of tracks and river beds between Chilecito and Fiambala, that was the test in the fifth stage of the Dakar Rally. For overall leader on two wheels Cyril Despres it presented little difficulty as he sealed a career 28th Dakar stage victory.
On his tail, team mate Marc Coma who was just over one and a half minutes behind Despres and now lies almost ten minutes off the pace in second spot. The two are dominating these early days with third placed rider Helder Rodriques over 45 minutes adrift of the two.
There was a first stage win for Krzystof Holowcyz in his mini. The Polish driver completed the 153 kilometre special stage in just over two hours and 10 minutes, edging his victory by just a minute over Robby Gordon and almost four minutes ahead of the overall leader Peterhansel.
The 45-year-old Frenchman who is hoping for a record 10th victory in the worlds most challenging rally heads the standings by just over four minutes with minis holding the top three places. Four of the five iconic cars competing have already won a stage.