Sorry for falling behind on the cliff notes, that was a surprisingly tough day full of speculation.
Above is the official dakar.com race report, following a quick recap of what happened on the firehose.
It started with a shortened special and Caselli opening the stage. Unsurprisingly, he made an early nav error and might catch a lot of penalties for missing waypoints.
The field disappeared from the trackers for WP 10 and 11 where many top riders took a wrong turn, resulting in many mid-pack riders finishing way up top.
Among them are Pedro Bianchi Prata in 4th, 19 year old Dutch Robert van Pelt and, most importantly, our own Lyndon Poskitt in 9th! A top ten stage result for a British rider is a first since the days of John Deacon. We're really looking forward to hearing from Pyn.
What followed was a load of speculation after only 5 cars made it to the finish before flash floods made the course impassable. Dakar.com released a poorly worded information that the stage would be neutralized at CP2, which would put Lyndon back in 55th place.
After hours it was confirmed the red flag only applied to cars.
Just an hour or so ago, Spanish sources fielded a new rumor, exiting easily-excitable F5ers, saying that Despres engine swap in the marathon bivouac yesterday might be illegal.
The rules (section 7P1) seem to imply that a rider can only swap among his personal spare engines as presented and marked during scrutineering. Cyril of course is now running Dabrowski's used engine (and has confirmed he planned to ride it until the finish), so the rest day might bring protests from team who like to see Despres even further down the order.
Of course, many top riders will get a fresh engine tomorrow, resulting in many planned 15' penalties.
The day ended with the first photos from cars stuck in the flooding river came in.