Sainz can't with De Villiers and Alonso finishes his big test

The South African, and Alex Haro, win the rally in Madrid, with problems before the goal. Fernando, 10 minutes from Ten Brinke, the best of the day.


He is used to grabbing attention wherever he goes, to be continuously surrounded by spotlights and microphones, to take all the headlines. But this time, in Morocco, Alonso has been forced to share prominence with another Spaniard. You have to be very good to do something like that or, directly, be Carlos Sainz. When everyone was waiting to see how Fernando was doing in his first major raid competition, Madrid arrives with his Mini and is planted on the last day with two stage victories and the option to take the rally.

I didn't have it easy. Ahead was the Toyota of De Villiers, a master of the dunes that Alonso sure has learned many lessons. 4:42 was the rent that Sainz had to cut to proclaim himself champion and on the day with less timed kilometers of the entire competition. A stage of 456 km that connected Erfoud with Fez, but only with a special 168. The rest, links. So Madrid had to give everything for everything when time began to really count.

The first two references were favorable for Carlos. He passed them with better records than his South African rival and cut him 37 seconds. It wasn't enough, you had to go for more. However, the trend changed from there and at the next control point Giniel was the one who took the lead in the duel for the rally. First it was 16 seconds, then 26 and in the end Toyota crossed the finish line with 13 minutes after Sainz had a problem that made him stop in the last kilometers.

De Villiers was the winner in Morocco, and with him a Spaniard, his co-pilot Álex Haro. Sainz was left without winning this test of North Africa, but he can leave with a very clear conscience knowing that his level is the ideal to fight for another Dakar. And that, after all, is what I was there for, to prepare for the fat, like everyone else, just like Alonso. In the spotlight of the Spaniard were not the results, but the sensations with which he would finish his first great competition with Toyota and Coma by his side.

Therefore, all this goes beyond the ten minutes he lost on the last day with Ten Brinke (winner of the stage) or the more than 70 total hours after his sanction. He goes to learn to compete in a new discipline, to know how to survive the wildest terrain in a desert, and one lesson after another has been taken: that of the punctures, that of the almost 400 km special in one day , that of the ditch, that of navigation difficulties ... And, in the end, he reached the finish line, something that Al Attiyah, the great favorite, could not say. Now, it's up to you to decide. Heading to the Dakar?

Price takes the stage, Short the rally and Barreda finishes on the podium

One way or another, Barreda has had his dose of prominence during the motorcycle days. To the last one it left at 5:11 of the leader Short in the fourth position of the general, a distance that if we were talking about cars it would not seem so much, but in the motorcycles everything is much tighter. Even so, the Valencian elbowed again with the best in each section of the special that closed the Rally of Morocco, but could not with the rhythm imposed by Toby Price and finished second to almost three minutes. Of course, he was rewarded: finish on the podium as a third.

KTM's Australian thus added his second victory, the only one to repeat it in the five days of competition, but the champion was another, the same one that came out with the favorite vitola from the lead: Short. The American was worth having controlled Quintanilla, who was his greatest rival by being only 35 seconds, and that is what he did. Although he finished fifth at more than five minutes of Price, he kept the Chilean at bay almost a minute behind to take his first victory in a test of the FIA Cross-Country World Championship.



Photos from as.com
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