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Dakar 2023: Howes takes lead as Van Beveren claims stage five

Monster Energy Honda’s Adrien Van Beveren took victory after the fifth stage of 2023’s Dakar on Thursday as Skyler Howes advanced to the overall lead.

The Frenchman completed the day’s 373km special 13 minutes ahead of teammate Nacho Cornejo with Mason Klein third on the stage five podium.

Howes finished sixth overall but with previous leader Daniel Sanders coming home in 21st after a gruelling day in his physical condition, the American leapfrogs his rival to the top spot ahead of Friday’s challenge, with the Australian fading to eighth in the standings.


“Tough day today,” Howes explained from the finish. “It’s been really physical as for most of the day we were up on the pegs picking our way through the camel grass.

“I caught up to the lead group quite early on, but it was really difficult to see the tracks today. We made a mistake and chose the wrong way, ended up getting lost, and then had to make a few circles to find the one waypoint we’d missed.

“Shortly before the finish Joan [Barreda] had a big crash and got caught up with Toby [Price], and so we stopped for a few minutes to make sure they were alright before carrying on. I know I lost a little time today, but I’m happy to reach the finish safely and I’m in good shape to push hard again tomorrow.”

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