Riders front up for another tough day today on the way to Ha’il. At least when they get there they’ll have a rest day.

Yesterday’s gruelling stage took around 15 riders out of the event, leaving only 79 of the original 101 still officially competing.

Today’s stage has a 265km liaison, 347km special and then the final run into Ha’il is just 76km.

The special stage has been shortened from the original route and now only has three checkpoints – CP3 has been bypassed.

There are refuelling stops at the start of the special stage and at CP2, 202km into the special.

The road is expected to be smooth and sandy but with plenty of dunes.

Some interesting points in the stage briefing say that riders will have to face them “forwards AND backwards” and that “even the toughest riders will end up with their arms like jelly.”

Andrew Houlihan (#62 – KTM 450RFR) leaves at 6:36 am and begins the special at 10:41 am.

Fellow Coca-Cola Nomadas Adventure rider Pablo Guillen (#35 – KTM 450RFR) will leave at 6:40:30 am and begin his run on the special at 10:45:30 am.

You can follow the live timing here.

And for Dakar followers in Australia, remember that the SBS daily highlights program is on at 5:30 pm, and even earlier on SBS On Demand. So followers in other countries please check your local TV guides for information.