Al Rajhi surprises the favorites on the tenth stage of the Dakar Rally

He Saudi Yazeed Al Rajhi (Overdrive Toyota) won this Wednesday in the tenth stage of the Dakar Rally, in the category of cars.

Al Rajhi, also winner of the seventh special, beat Qatari Nasser Al-Attiyah by 2:04 (Toyota Gazoo Racing) in the 342 timed kilometers from Neom to Al’Ula. The Qatari cut Frenchman Stéphane Peterhansel (X-Raid Mini JCW) by 49 seconds in the general, third on Wednesday.

In general, Nasser Al-Attiyah remains second, 17:01 behind thirteen-time champion of the Dakar Rally, which will face the longest and most demanding special of this edition with an important cushion.

This Thursday the participants face a 511 kilometer special, of which 100 are dunes. The Spanish Carlos Sainz (X-Raid Mini JCW), the last Dakar Rally champion, will reach the eleventh and penultimate stage in the third place overall, with a difference of 1 hour, 3 minutes and 44 seconds with respect to the leader.

The Dakar Rally, considered the toughest in the world, is held for the second consecutive year in Saudi Arabia.

On motorcycles

There is no clear favorite in the motorcycle general, devoid of its last leader, Jose Ignacio Cornejo (Honda), when the rally reaches its most decisive stage. The goodbye of the Chilean, transferred to the Taduk hospital and removed from the race due to the risk of a concussion, draws a new perspective on rider classification, totally unpredictable, with Argentine Kevin Benavides (Honda) as the new leader, albeit with a tiny margin: 51 seconds out of American Ricky Brabec, the defending champion.

Also the British Sam Sunderland (+10: 35) and the Spanish Joan Barreda (+15: 40) They see themselves with options to be crowned in this edition, knowing that the next special is conducive to a great comeback between the dunes.

“The race is long and we are seeing, with this type of navigation and with everything that is happening every day, that the fight is against the race “, Joan Barreda exposed when he learned about the withdrawal of Nacho Cornejo.

The Chilean suffered a sharp fall at kilometer 252 of the 342 special. He recovered and shot until he reached the goal, but following medical criteria he gave up fighting with the best. Even with the fall, he would be third, just 1:07 behind first.

The loss of Nacho Cornejo, added to Toby Price, returns Joan Barreda to the fight for the podium, at a time when fatigue multiplies the difficulty that this Dakar Rally already has. “More ‘rock and roll’ of the good awaits us,” joked the Spaniard. Lorenzo Santolino, seventh, is the other Spaniard in the top-10.

In quads, the Argentine Pablo Copetti, already devoid of options to win a title, he took the victory in a route with 241 kilometers of connection and 342 of special between Neom and Al’Ula.

For just 20 seconds, Copetti beat Chilean Ítalo Pedemonte to sign his second stage victory in this edition of the Dakar Rally, which is being held in Saudi Arabia for the second consecutive year.

Also Argentine Manuel Andújar, leader of the general, was third at 2:45.

That doesn’t change the overall quad picture too much. In fact, Andújar increases his lead to 21 minutes over Frenchman Alexandre Giroud, who is fourth in this special.

In light vehicles, Russian Sergei Kariakin cut Chilean Chaleco López’s three-win streak, who continues to lead the general classification, with a 10-minute lead over American Austin Jones.

For his part, the Czech Martin Macik (Iveco) repeated his triumph in the tenth stage of the Dakar Rally in the truck category, with an advantage of 1 minute and 40 seconds over the general leader, the Russian Dmitry Sotnikov (Kamaz). His rent is 47:22 on his compatriot Anton Shibalov.

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