Although he started second on the well-traveled tracks of today’s 133km special, Howes, knowing the route, was able to attack from the start. Never falling below third place in sequence, a final charge to the end saw the American take second place, just over a minute behind the final winner. The result puts Skyler in second place overall with only Tuesday’s last stage remaining.
Maintaining the constant pace he demonstrated throughout the event, Luciano Benavides completed a solid stage four with very few errors to ultimately secure seventh place. Also seventh in the provisional general classification, a few seconds behind sixth place, the Argentinian rider will aim for a solid final stage tomorrow to move up the classification.
The competitors will repeat the Saturday special on the fifth stage tomorrow. Starting and arriving in Gorno-Altaisk, the riders will have to tackle the final 132 km course in order to secure their final positions and the precious championship points.
Skyler Howes: “Today was really fun because we were able to increase the intensity a lot. The navigation was not that difficult because we knew where we were going, but the stage was still quite difficult to complete. The bike felt really good, and I felt comfortable keeping a really fast pace, so that’s really encouraging. Finishing second today pushes me up to second in the standings, so my plan now is to rest so I can give it my all tomorrow. It’s a stage that you can certainly waste a lot of time on, but not that much. A good trip to the finish should allow me to finish the rally in a good position.
Luciano Benavides: “As today’s stage was the same as yesterday, there wasn’t too much navigation, but despite that I still tried to practice with my notes. My pace today was not as good as I had hoped, but I didn’t waste too much time on the leaders so I’m happy with it. I had a little crash in the mud at the start of the stage, but other than that, everything went well. There is still one stage left and I can’t wait to complete it and arrive safely at the finish.
Download the images of the Silk Way Rally here.
Rally Silk Way 2021 – Provisional Classification Stage 4
1. Daniel Sanders (GASGAS) 1:22:47
2. Skyler Howes (Husqvarna) 1:23:56
3. Matthias Walkner (KTM) 1:24:18
4. Sebastian Buhler (Hero) 1:24:50
5. Franco Caimi (Hero) 1:27:30
6. Andrew Short (Yamaha) 1:28:20
7. Luciano Benavides (Husqvarna) 1:28:23
Rally Silk Way 2021 – Provisional General Classification (after stage 4)
1. Matthias Walkner (KTM) 5:13:57
2. Skyler Howes (Husqvarna) 5:18:44
3. Franco Caimi (Hero) 5:19:33
4. Daniel Sanders (GASGAS) 5:22:32
5. Sebastian Buhler (Hero) 5:22:42
6. Adrien Van Beveren (Yamaha) 5:29:44
7. Luciano Benavides (Husqvarna) 5:30:36