Dakar 2021 stage 10 – Saudi Yazeed Al Rajhi won this Wednesday at Al Ula. Two stages from the end, Friday in Jeddah, Stephane Peterhansel keeps 17 minutes ahead of Nasser al-Attiyah and more than an hour over Carlos Sainz.
Saudi Arabia’s local hero Yazeed Al-Rajhi came on strong in the closing portion of today’s 10th stage of the marathon — a 342km/213-mile run through the sand between spectacular rockpiles from Neom on the Red Sea to Al-Ula — to take his second stage win in the car category, but it took a risky gamble to close the deal. The Overdrive Toyota driver pushed on to the finish on a flat tire.
STANDINGS AFTER STAGE 10 – DAKAR 2021 – AL RAJHI WINNER
|6||Khalid Al Qassimi||Peugeot||3hr13m14s|
|8||Giniel de Villiers||Toyota||3hr43m28s|
“We went fast, and Dirk (von Zitzewitz, navigator) also did a great job. However, with 30 km to go, we had a flat tire,” related Al-Rajhi. “We decided to push on, reasoning that we were almost there. The tire ended up torn to pieces, but we finished with it. It was risky, but we wanted to win. We thought that stopping would cost us 1m20s, whereas easing up a little might only cost us 45s.”
Qatar’s Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah — driving a similar Toyota Hilux for Toyota Gazoo Racing — finished second, 2m04s behind, leading home overall Dakar leader Stephane Peterhansel (X Raid MINI JCW) by 49s to close the gap to the Frenchman. However, he still trails by 17 minutes with just two stages remaining.
“Navigating wasn’t easy, but I’m rather happy the stage went without a hitch,” said Al-Attiyah. “I think tomorrow will decide the Dakar. It’s going to be a tricky stage, but we’ll do our best. There’s no strategy — we’ll just keep driving fast. Of course, Stephane is under the most pressure because he’s the leader, but I’m also under pressure: If I can’t make it, I’ll finish second.”
DAKAR 2021 STAGE 10 – AL RAJHI WINNER AT AL ULA DAKAR 2021 STAGE 10 – AL RAJHI WINNER AT AL ULA