Dakar 2021 STAGE 2 Bisha - Wadi Ad-Dawasir!

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Dakar 2021. Second Dakar 2021 stage! The real Dakar stage as drivers say. Beautiful landscapes, dunes, fast straights!

Tommorow:
Wadi Ad-Dawasir - Wadi Ad-Dawasir
01-05-2021 - Stage 3

0:15 | Stage 1
3:12 | Stage 2
6:57 | Onboard


Focus

The change in landscape is striking on leaving Bisha to head to the west of the country, towards Wadi Ad Dawasir. Gone are the stony tracks that tested the competitors’ nerves and tyres. This time, sandy plateaux played host to the first part of the special, before the riders and drivers had to put their skills in the dunes to the forefront. They had to be experts in this delicate art in order to tackle those on the final section, with dunes broken up by the wind that has generously gusted over the region during the last few days. It was therefore not surprising that past-masters in sand such as Nasser Al-Attiyah in the car category or Joan Barreda in the bike race proved to be the quickest in this exercise.

Outline

On the second day of racing, the riders and drivers sometimes hold back a little, meaning positions do not often change much. Such an approach is not part of Joan Barreda’s DNA who, on the contrary, has all too often shone on the first week of the rally at the risk of disappearing from the standings prematurely. After starting in 20th position, the Spaniard convincingly overtook the pack of bikers as the day’s openers paid dearly for their hesitation in the dunes: Toby Price and Kevin Benavides both lost half an hour, Mathias Walkner waved goodbye to 2 hours 30 and Andrew Short exited the race, let down by his machine. As for Nasser Al-Attiyah, he added a 37th special stage win to his collection, deploying a strategically precise plan, even if Stéphane Peterhansel took over the reins at the top of the general standings. A pitched battle is taking place in the lightweight vehicle category, in which a new player emerged among the pretenders to the crown: behind the wheel of his Can-Am, Saleh Al Sahif became the second Saudi stage winner on the Dakar, six years after Yazeed Al-Rajhi triumphed in the Chilean dunes around Iquique. In the truck race, it appears that Dmitri Sotnikov is initially taking on the role of team leader for Kamaz. He won a second consecutive stage and now leads the general standings by 17 minutes ahead of Belarussian Sarhei Viazovich.

Performance of the day

Pablo Copetti distinguished himself with a flourish on the second stage between Bisha and Wadi Ad-Dawasir. The Americano-Argentinean, who missed out on the 2020 edition several days before travelling to the rally due to an injury, today made an elite level comeback. It was from the 178-km point that he started to distance his rivals and soar away to a fourth stage victory, his first since the 2017 edition. Over the last months, Copetti has not hesitated to draw on the best resources to fine-tune his Yamaha Raptor 700 and ride during lockdown in the deserts of Nevada and California. His preparation has been far from conventional, but it is bearing plenty of fruit!

The makings of a Classic

The participants in the Dakar Classic have also experienced their fair share of incidents, but the Beetle driven by Belgians Benoît Callewaert and Ghislain Morel safely reached the bivouac in Wadi, in 17th place on the day’s special.

DAKAR 2021 Saudi Arabia! #27OctaneDakar
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