Matthias Walkner overcame the damp and cold conditions of stage four to come home in eighth position for the day. Setting off seventh this morning at just before 7.00am, Walkner was faced with the harshest conditions of the rally so far. Rain and low temperatures only worsened as the riders climbed to the highest section of the special stage – reaching a height of over 3000 metres above sea level in the mountains to the west of Tafí del Valle.
Walkner’s eighth position today secures his eighth position overall with only one more day of competition remaining. Concentrating on using the time on the bike to develop his technique and navigational skills, the Austrian had another productive day.
Walkner: “Today was quite a good day. The stage had some extremely varied terrain, from rocky mountain tracks to the sand dunes at the end. It was really cold this morning, nearly freezing, so it was good to get going.
“We started off through the sand and river beds but then climbed up into the mountains. Physically, the day was exhausting, especially as it’s the penultimate stage of the rally. I am happy with my riding and didn’t have too many problems with navigation. I did get lost at one point and that cost me seven or eight minutes, but apart from that it was ok.
“There is one day left so I plan to do my best tomorrow and continue to work on my pace and technique. I am looking forward to the finish and hope for a good result.”
The fifth and final stage of the 2017 Desafio Ruta 40 rally leaves Tafí del Valle and circles for a total of 328km before arriving at the finish in Tucumán. The special stage is a relatively short 180km.
Provisional Results Stage Four – Desafio Ruta 40 2017
1. Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, 4:46:12
2. Michael Metge (FRA), Honda, 4:48:42 +2:30
3. Adrien van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 4:49:30 +3:18
4. Ricky Bravec (USA), Honda, 4:51:59 +5:47
5. Xavier de Soultrait (FRA), Yamaha, 4:53:24 +7:12
8. Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, 5:05:41 +19:29
9. Martin Duplessis (ARG), KTM, 5:18:09 +31:57
10. Daniel Nosiglia (BOL), KTM, 5:23:07 +36:55
Provisional Standings – Desafio Ruta 40 after 4 of 5 stages
1. Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, 16:53:27
2. Paolo Goncalves (POR), Honda, 17:04:03 +10:36
3. Xavier de Soultrait (FRA), Yamaha, 17:27:40 +34:13
4. Pablo Quintanilla (CHL), Husqvarna, 17:47:45 +54:18
5. Ricky Bravec (USA), Honda, 17:54:25 +1:00:58
6. Martin Duplessis (ARG), KTM, 18:36:56 +1:43:29
7. Daniel Nosiglia (BOL), KTM, 18:55:22 +2:01:55
8. Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, 19:19:49 +2:26:22