AL QAISUMAH, Saudi Arabia – Nasser Al-Attiyah padded his advantage on top of the Dakar Rally standings with his second stage win of the campaign Wednesday.
It appeared the victory in the 464km stage was going to go to Carlos Sainz Sr., but a mechanical failure dropped him from the lead late in the stage. That handed the lead to Yazeed Al-Rajhi, but a two-minute penalty for a speeding penalty was enough to put Al-Attiyah on top at the conclusion of the stage.
“We caught up to some cars in front of us early in the day,” Al-Attiyah said. “Then we decided to keep a good pace and minimize any risk. Mathieu (Baumel) did a great job with the navigation.”
Sebastien Loeb was scored second, 25 seconds behind Al-Attiyah after Wednesday’s stage. He is now more than 38 minutes behind Al-Attiyah in the battle for the overall Dakar Rally victory.
Sainz rebounded from his mechanical issues to finish the stage third. The penalty against Al-Rajhi dropped him to fifth in the final stage rankings.
In the bike category, it was Joan Barreda who became the first repeat stage winner of the year. He finished three minutes and 37 seconds clear of Pablo Quintanilla. Sam Sunderland remains the overall bike category leader by three minutes ahead of Matthias Walkner.
Dmitry Sotnikov remains the leader of the truck race, but Eduard Nikolaev is now only six minutes behind after another stage win.