Friday, March 31, 2023

Loeb wins a third Dakar stage however Al-Attiyah nonetheless in management

Sebastien Loeb overcame a mechanical downside and penalty earlier than the Dakar Rally resumed after its relaxation day and gained his third stage of the race in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.

Loeb lower 11 minutes into Nasser Al-Attiyah’s lead and improved to 3rd within the common rankings, however nonetheless was 1 hour, 43 minutes behind the Qatari.

Al-Attiyah was content material to complete eighth and in a single piece after a 359-kilometre stage 9 between Riyadh east to Haradh. Navigation was difficult within the wadis and canyons initially.

Two-time champion Carlos Sainz, out of the title operating since a crash final Friday, crashed once more simply six kilometres in when he planted his leaping Audi front-first into the sand and flipped. Additionally reportedly OK was motorcycle rider Joan Barreda, the stage 4 winner who fell at kilometre 16 and was airlifted to a Riyadh hospital.

Al-Attiyah elevated his general result in 1 hour, 21 minutes over Brazilian rookie Lucas Moraes after mechanical bother price Toyota teammate Henk Lategan greater than half-hour. The Dutchman dropped from second to fourth, three minutes behind Loeb.

An ignition downside precipitated Loeb’s late arrival on the pre-start management and he was penalised for greater than two minutes. However the Frenchman was ok to carry off Vaidotas Zala of Lithuania by a minute and Guerlain Chicherit by 4 minutes. Loeb estimated he misplaced 5 to seven minutes on navigation and it might have been worse.

Al-Attiyah, who has led since stage three, was comfortable to comply with others’ tracks. He’s anticipating consolidating his lead because the race heads to the Empty Quarter within the Saudi southeast, which he is aware of effectively.

“We need to take it day by day like this without any problems,” Al-Attiyah mentioned. “We have a big gap now and I hope to finish and to win this Dakar.”

Luciano Benavides turned the primary rider to win two phases on this race. And identical to when the Argentine gained stage six, his Husqvarna teammate Skyler Howes stayed the chief within the common rankings. They rode collectively.

“It was a demanding stage with lots of water,” Howes mentioned. “It was super crazy. We were going through giant rivers in the middle of the desert.”

Benavides vied with Toby Value all day for the lead and prevailed in opposition to the two-time champion by one minute. Howes was third.

They benefited from an unplanned detour, round 123 kilometres earlier than the refuel cease, by Ross Department, Mason Klein, Pablo Quintanilla, Adrien van Beveren and Daniel Sanders, all of them stage winners. They by no means recovered and Klein’s day was notably unhealthy. He fell initially and misplaced his roadbook, and fell once more close to the end.

Klein dropped from third general, 13 seconds behind Howes, to sixth, greater than 18 minutes again.

Value rose to second place, simply three seconds behind Howes, and one other former champion in Kevin Benavides — brother of Luciano — was 5 minutes again in third place.

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