A total of 93 bikes will start Stage 5 of the 2021 Dakar rally today.

The stage consists of a short 72km liaison, 456km special with five checkpoints and a 268km liaison to wrap up the day and get the riders into the bivouac at Al Qaisumah.

The first refuelling point is after 193km at CP3, it’s a further 209km to the next fuel stop at CP5 and the third refuelling stop is just 126km later at the end of the special.

The riders briefing suggests that today could be the toughest stage of the rally with a mixture of sand, dunes, soil and rock to deal with. There are some tough dunes in the middle of the stage and a number of rocky sections that will lower the average speed.

The briefing also suggested that competitors will need to be patient, and that “competitors who fail to control their nerves are in for a bad day”.

Exactly what that means … well I guess we’ll find out.

The Coca-Cola Nomadas Adventure teammates will be starting further apart today.

Pablo Guillen (#35 – KTM 450RFR) will leave the bivouac at 6:39 am and start the special at 8:14 am.

Andrew Houlihan (#62 – KTM 450RFR) will head out at 6:48 am for an 8:23 am start at the special.

You can follow the live timing here.