Dakar Rally: In Bolivia, Mena stands tall at halfway stage

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"I'm very happy too, because the idea was to get as high up the rankings as possible before the rest stage, so I cannot be happier".

CS Santosh stands 51st in the overall rankings, while teammate Oriol Mena's strong performance helps him climb to 21st overall.

"We did not have dust today so I knew it was my best chance to pass a few guys and I tried to make the most of the opportunity".

Hero MotoSports Team Rally's Oriol Mena and C.S Santosh were 27th and 28th respectively after the second day of the Dakar Rally 2018 here. "Now we have about 450 kms to make it to the Bivouac at Arequipa and it will be another day in the bag".

Santosh chose to play it safe and steady as the rally neared the halfway mark to finish the stage at 52nd position.

The day was particularly hard for the bikes, as they left after the cars, contrary to what usually happens during the Dakar, and found themselves with a terrain battered by the passing of the cars. The sand was really soft and some of the dunes were really massive. The navigation was a little bit tricky-I think all of us got confused and lost at the same waypoint.

The competitors will now get a much deserved rest day before the second leg of the rally kicks off. Last year, three stages had to be truncated and even cancelled, as rain and flash floods caused havoc when the rally entered Bolivia from Paraguay.

The organisers also separated the route for the quads and bikes in the 5th stage. 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. Furthermore, 226km of specials made up for a total of 774km in Stage 5. With this pace, the Sherco TVS Factory Rally team's lead racer has jumped up to 15th position in the overall rankings.

"I am happy with the victory on this stage", Van Beveren said.

The sixth stage of the rally saw the action move from Peru to Bolivia as riders traversed through the 758 km long stretch from Arequipa to La Paz.

Both the bikers from Hero MotoSports team chose to be safe and cautious with an aim to successfully complete the first half of the Dakar Rally without any unwanted incident. This stage onwards, the rally will step up to become faster as it leaves the sands behind to tackle the Bolivian Altiplano at the altitude of 2500m and above.

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