The Madrid man retains the lead with Al-Attiyah on the lookout in cars and the Valencian appears on the motorcycle podium despite an injury
Although the Dakar had no intention of entering the sieve so soon, the difficult stony tracks of the second stage almost caused the first major carnage among the participants, both because of the terrain and its length. Fortunately for Spanish interests, nothing bad happened.
It was a complex day as navigation started to appear. The 430 kilometer special forced the competitors to shine on hard terrain of earth and stones, and a sporadic dune area, between Sea Camp and Alula. The advance of the original camp of this Dakar claimed its first casualties.
One of them soon arrived on motorcycles. Ricky Brabec, who started at the front, spent more than 20 minutes at the first refueling point in the middle of the time zone, giving wings to a Daniel Sanders who eventually joined Mason Klein in the stage ready to be one of the reveals again of the raid after his amazing performance in 2022 and finally defeated him at the finish. Although Brabec saved the furniture quite well, as he only allowed three and a half minutes at the end (Klein was penalized with two minutes at the finish), he lost the lead.
Joan Barreda has had quite a shock, but he continues in the race. After being one of those penalized for speeding the previous day (there was such a carnage that some competitors discovered on Monday morning), he continues with a firm and sure step. The Valencian, who rides a Honda semi-private structure, came in two and a half minutes behind and has already slipped onto the podium in the general classification. Although there is still a long way to go in Dakar, he faces the next day with optimism and the sure advantage that not opening the track will bring him, something that is crucial in this first week. It is no coincidence that Sanders braked in the last kilometers of the day: strategy plays a crucial role in these bars.
Bang Bang saved the furniture in a more than optimal way despite a blow to the big toe from the change, to the point that his leg fell asleep. “I had to see if he was there,” he joked upon arrival at the bivouac. Happier nonetheless: third overall and without opening a job for this Tuesday, despite a fracture in the distal phalanx of the big toe of his left foot, which he will have to protect for the remainder of the attack.
Nasser Al-Attiyah took his first victory in this raid on a very tough day, showing that when he has to attack, he does. Another problem is that you usually don’t want to because it’s easier to wait for other people’s failures or problems.
This is what happened to Sebastien Loeb. The Frenchman, who had started very well, was sidelined for more than an hour due to bad luck and three flat tires, so he had to wait for help before he could continue. The nine-time world rally champion has not given up hope as there are still 13 days of competition ahead of him, but his candidacy will be very difficult if the top does not fail. He was not alone: Stéphane Peterhansel himself lost more than half an hour due to two punctures at the start of the stage and had to be extremely careful not to give up even more. Managing is at least as important as going fast, especially when it looks like the Dakar will be decided between two.
And it is that both Al-Attiyah and Carlos Sainz are still very strong. El Matador endured a lot on a day when his son, the Formula 1 driver, acted as a lookout in some places on the podium. So much so that at one point he approached the line to warn him to slow down in an area of rocks, risking running into one that could have caused him a serious accident.
“We’ve had one puncture and just like yesterday we’re trying to be careful not to get a second puncture because if you run out of wheels… that’s bad. It has been endless, it was tough, long and it took a lot of concentration not to break the ties,” analyzed the still leader of the general classification, finishing third behind Al-Attiyah and Dutchman Erik Van Loon, who won the .He left everything in the last zone of the day, Sainz now has 2:32 on the Qatari and more than 20 minutes on the next in the standings, Mathieu Serradori.
Source: La Verdad
I am Shawn Partain, a journalist and content creator working for the Today Times Live. I specialize in sports journalism, writing articles that cover major sporting events and news stories. With a passion for storytelling and an eye for detail, I strive to be accurate and insightful in my work.