The trek from Yauca to the small town of San Juan de Marcona can seem a pleasant ride. Less than 100 km separate these two places going down the Panamericana road on the Pacific coast. However, the field of the Dakar faced an entirely different challenge, starting with a long liaison to the start of the special (267 km for the motorbikes and 443 km for the cars). Right after the start, the competitors tackled the fearsome dunes of Tanaka, the toughest dune sector in the rally, which is even nastier than in 2018. Then came the slightly easier dunes of Acari, back after stage 3 but on a different course, and a detour on the beach of Puerto de Lomas to freshen up the competitors before a long off-road section. The final showdown took place on the Duna Grande and Duna Argentina sequence, which were not as difficult as the dunes of Tanaka but came at the end of a gruelling stage. A laser-like focus was crucial to make it to the finish!
Nicolás Cavigliasso maintained his iron grip on the quad race with his fifth stage win in six stages. The Argentinian made short work of his competitors, while “Chaleco” López flew the flag for Chile with his second triumph in the SxS category.