Sainz is out of the game

The Madrilenian, more than an hour into the fight for the Dakar after suffering brake problems. Peterhansel won the stage and took 12 minutes from Al Attiyah.


I wanted to enjoy the second week after having had such a hard time the first, and I was getting it. The two parts of the marathon turned out quite well for Sainz, he completed them without major incidents and with the great pace he always has when there are none. In addition, he and Cruz managed to overcome the most important thing, those problems with navigation that separated them from the fight. But that they surpassed those, it does not mean that there could be others ... And that is what happened to them in a ninth stage that could definitely leave them with no options to win the Dakar.

To start the 465-kilometer special, the second loop of this edition with a beginning and an end in Neom with terrains more dirt than sand, Carlos suffered a puncture on duty that he can never get rid of. With him, he already allowed five minutes in the first 100 kilometers of the day, but the real problem would come a little later. A fault in the Mini's brakes made him go through the next checkpoint with a 20 minute loss and reach the finish line with real problems. He crossed it to 23 Peterhansel, winner of the day.

Y is that the joy was for neighborhoods in the X-Raid team, because in the French team they live very well, in fact, better than in any other. Unlike Price on motorcycles, luck is still on Stéphane's side, who overcame a suspension break in the seventh stage and as a reward comes out of the ninth with his first victory and a difference over Al Attiyah that could well be worth him to come out the winner Dakar: 12 minutes. The Qatari started the day at the rhythm of his rival, but two punctures would slow him down and hence he reached the end at such a distance.

It is the truly difficult first stage for Nasser, who will start at 10th 17 minutes behind Peterhansel and perhaps with the consolation that, for having been his worst day, he did not come off so badly. Without a doubt, it is the biggest advantage that Monsieur Dakar has had since he took the lead on the second day, but there is still a long way to go to be confident. So Al Attiyah cannot be ruled out at all, something we would like to say about Sainz, who was expecting bad news from the others to approach him and they touched him again.

The Madrilenian already exceeds the hour of distance with his partner and, if something truly extraordinary does not happen, it can be said that he is out of the game. At least, what will be difficult is for someone to get Sainz off the podium, since he has the Poclaco Przygonski, the fourth with his Toyota, more than an hour away. Behind, Nani Roma is the one who continues to occupy the last place of that Top 5. Although he also lost 20 minutes with the only BRX still standing (Loeb left on Monday), he maintains another as much advantage over Al Qassimi's Peugeot.

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