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Dakar Rally: Loeb wins the second stage and Carlos Sainz regains his calm: “Try to have as much fun as possible”

Dakar Rally: Loeb wins the second stage and Carlos Sainz regains his calm:

After losing their chances of victory on Sunday, the Madrilenian finished the stage in third position, behind the French and Al-Attiyah, leader of the race.

Carlos Sainz, during the second stage of the Dakar Rally.EFE
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The french Sebastin loeb won in the second stage of the Dakar with 3 minutes and 38 seconds ahead of the general leader in cars, Qatar Nasser Al-Attiyah, thus placing at 9:06 of the three times winner of the category (2011, 2015 and 2019). The Frenchman was the first to break Qatar’s dominance in the first two days of competition and, after being the only one capable of keeping up with him on Sunday – the rest of the pilots got lost trying to find the penultimate checkpoint – he showed that his words were true.

“I could keep up with Nasser at a good pace,” he commented on Sunday, and this Monday he confirmed it after both drivers opened the track. Something usually complicated, but the stage did not present so many navigation problems and they were closely marked during the 339 kilometers of special stage. A day that was also uneventful for the Spanish Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz. After losing two hours at the fateful checkpoint, on Monday they proved again that the innovative Audi hybrid has the pace to fight.

They were third at each checkpoint, going through some difficulty in sixth, and they got around the traffic well after starting in positions further behind than usual to finish in that position, 5 minutes and 52 seconds behind the winner Loeb, and climb positions in the general. “The rest of the Dakar I face it day by day and try to have fun as much as I can,” said the Madrilenian when he arrived at the camp, resigned after losing his options in the first stage.

After the fateful day for Audi on Sunday, the German brand put its other two drivers in the top ten. The french Stphane Peterhansel, who no longer has options when breaking the rear suspension of his car in the previous stage, finished fourth at 7’56 “behind Loeb, while the Swede Mattias Ekstrom I finished ninth, 13 minutes and 30 seconds behind the Frenchman.

Carlos Sainz and Nan Roma.AFP

Another Spaniard whose navigation complicated his options for victory was Nani Rome (Bahrain Raid Xtreme). The winner of the Dakar in motorcycles in 2004 and in cars in 2014, finished the special fifth, losing 8 minutes and 2 seconds compared to his teammate. Sainz’s third place and fifth in Rome will allow them to start Tuesday’s special, of 368 kilometers, in a better position due to not having so much traffic and with Loeb and Al-Attiyah opening the track, which could give them options to fight for stage victory.

Result that, in addition, makes Roma the best Spanish rider in the general classification, occupying 17th position. Another Spaniard who signed a good performance was the debutante Carlos Checa. The former motorcycle World Championship rider and 2011 World Superbike champion finished the stage 30, 37 minutes and 34 seconds behind Loeb.

Victory by Joan Barreda

For its part, Joan Barreda won the second stage of motorcycles, beating the British Sam sunderland in 5 minutes and 33 seconds and the winner of 2021, the Argentine Kevin Benavides, in 5 minutes and 54 seconds. In the general classification, Sunderland takes first place, ahead of the French Adrien van beveren (Yamaha), sixth on the stage.

Barreda is now tenth overall, 20 minutes and 25 seconds behind the British leader, while Benavides is eleventh at 20 minutes and 47 seconds.

Reference from elmundo