Dakar Rally: Stage 4

Paul Carruthers | January 5, 2003

Spain’s Isidre Esteve Pujol claimed the first African special of the Telefonica Dakar rally in the stage between Tunis and Tozeur today.

Riding his 900cc twin-cylinder KTM900cc bike, the Spaniard, who left in 29th position, clocked a time of 19 minutes on the 25km course.

In very slippery conditions, Pujol beat compatriot and fellow KTM pilot Nani Roma by 42 seconds and De Azevedo (KTM) by 58 seconds. Italy’s Fabrizio Meoni finished sixth in the special stage.

In the provisional bike overall standings, Richard Sainct remains in front with a 22-second advantage on Despres. Roma is third while Alfie Cox, 16th in the special, moves down to fourth. Meoni is sixth. Pujol moves up to seventh overall.

Spaniard Garcia Mochales, meanwhile, crashed in stage four, suffering two broken bones in his arm.He was taken by helicopter to the closest hospital in Tunis.

Paul Carruthers | Editor

Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America's Daily Motorcycle News Source.