After starting in tenth position, Nasser Al-Attiyah has won stage two by 2m35s in front of Stéphane Peterhansel. The Frenchman led for the majority of the stage, but can console himself with almost 7 minutes gained on Carlos Sainz (who finished third) as well as, more importantly, the lead in the general standings.
However, the 12 minutes Al-Attiyah lost on Sunday means he sits only third overall in the standings, nine minutes behind of Peterhansel and three minutes behind second-placed Sainz.
Stage Two served up dunes for the first time from Bisha to Wadi Ad-Dawasir and featured 457km against the clock with the change of terrain having a massive impact on the leaderboards.
Al-Attiyah hit back from a difficult Sunday Stage One – where he finished 10th – to win on Monday by two minutes and 35 seconds from Frenchman Peterhansel with defending champion Sainz just under 10 minutes back from the Qatari driver on the day.
Al-Attiyah, 50, who lies nine minutes and 14 seconds back from 13-time Dakar winner Peterhansel, revealed: “Yesterday we lost a lot of time because we opened the stage and it was so tough. Today we went flat out from start to finish and everything worked really well.”
Barreda wins Stake 2 for Bikes
Joan Barreda and Ricky Brabec scooped another one-two for Monster Energy Honda Team in the second stage of the Dakar Rally 2021. This marks a twenty-fifth stage victory for the Spaniard, who holds the place as the rider with the fourth highest number of wins in Dakar history. Barreda is the new overall leader of the 2021 Dakar.
The Dakar, once again, produced a day of many reshuffles in the order compared to yesterday’s stage. The riders who finished behind in yesterday’s stage were expected to pounce in an effort to claw back time, which is precisely what they did, on track conditions which proved very conducive to gaining lost time. Riders made a start from Bisha in cool temperatures before heading out onto the 135-kilometer liaison section which led to the starting point of the special stage. At the start of the 457-kilometer special, competitors faced low dunes and fast, open track, with the advantage always favoring the pursuers, proving to be a great handicap for the front-runners eager to fend them off. Later on, the stage hit level two and three type dunes, before ending on narrow stony areas and dried-out river beds. Finally – some 96 kilometers of link stage later – the riders found themselves back at the Wadi Al-Dawasir bivouac, which will be home-base for the coming two days.
Joan Barreda was the man to beat, claiming victory in the stage and clinching the overall race leadership. But these two feats weren’t the only thing Joan was celebrating. With today’s race, the Monster Energy Honda Team rider from Castellón takes his Dakar Rally stage victory tally to 25, the fourth best rider in the Dakar role of honor. Joan held a six-and-a-half minute margin over the day’s runner-up, team-mate Ricky Brabec.
The American got off to a strong start today – as did Joan – and was able to make up for the time dropped yesterday. Brabec accomplished his mission and now lies in second place overall, although he is well-aware that the Dakar has barely begun and a lot is in store before the great challenge finally draws to a conclusion.
Today’s starting position did not bode well for Kevin Benavides and it looked highly likely that his adversaries would be able to chase him down and whittle away some of the gap from the Argentinean Monster Energy Honda Team rider. In the end, Kevin posted 24th, which will leave him starting tomorrow’s stage from further back with a chance to make up time. Kevin holds thirteenth in the general standings.
After some issues in the previous stages, today’s stage proved to be a good one for José Ignacio Cornejo. Despite a slight navigation error at the start of the special, the Chilean managed to set good pace on the kind of terrain that favors his riding style and was able to post a fifth-place finish, close to the leading riders. ‘Nacho’ now holds eleventh overall some twelve minutes adrift of the new leader.
Tomorrow sees the first looping stage of this Dakar 2021, held between Wadi Al-Dawasir – Wadi Al-Dawasir, with 403 kilometers against the clock, plus a 226 km liaison section, making up a total stage of 629 kilometers for the one hundred or so riders taking part.
Quads: Copetti Wins
Pablo Copetti has won the second stage in the quad race by 1’03 ahead of Enrico Giovanni and 3’30 in front of Alexandre Giroud. The Frenchman, who won the prologue and Sunday’s special, has kept hold of his lead in the general standings, in front of Giovanni and Copetti.
Stage 2 Top-5 by Category
|1||301||(QAT) NASSER AL-ATTIYAH/(FRA) MATTHIEU BAUMEL||Toyota Gazoo Racing||04H 03′ 14”||+0.000S|
|2||302||(FRA) STÉPHANE PETERHANSEL/(FRA) EDOUARD BOULANGER||X-Raid Mini Jcw Team||04H 05′ 49”||+ 00H 02′ 35”|
|3||300||(ESP) CARLOS SAINZ/(ESP) LUCAS CRUZ||X-Raid Mini Jcw Team||04H 12′ 31”||+ 00H 09′ 17”|
|4||303||(SAU) YAZEED AL RAJHI/(DEU) DIRK VON ZITZEWITZ||Overdrive Toyota||04H 13′ 38”||+ 00H 10′ 24”|
|5||308||(FRA) MATHIEU SERRADORI/(BEL) FABIAN LURQUIN||Srt Racing||04H 13′ 41”||+ 00H 10′ 27”|
|1||88||(ESP) JOAN BARREDA||Monster Energy Honda Team 2021||04H 17′ 56”||+0.000s|
|2||1||(USA) RICKY BRABEC||Monster Energy Honda Team 2021||04H 21′ 51”||+ 00H 03′ 55”|
|3||2||(CHL) PABLO QUINTANILLA||Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing||04H 23′ 58”||+ 00H 06′ 02”|
|4||18||(BWA) ROSS BRANCH||Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team||04H 29′ 50”||+ 00H 11′ 54”|
|1||163||(USA) PABLO COPETTI||Mx Devesa By Berta||05H 33′ 50”||+0.000S|
|2||159||(CHL) GIOVANNI ENRICO||Enrico Racing Team||05H 34′ 53”||+ 00H 01′ 03”|
|3||152||(FRA) ALEXANDRE GIROUD||Team Giroud||05H 37′ 20”||+ 00H 03′ 30”|
|4||150||(ARG) NICOLAS CAVIGLIASSO||Drag’on Rally Team||05H 39′ 43”||+ 00H 05′ 53”|
|5||168||(CHL) ITALO PEDEMONTE||Enrico Racing Team||05H 40′ 45”||+ 00H 06′ 55”|
Overall ranking after Stage 2
1. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA) X-Raid Mini 07h17m18s
2. Carlos Sainz (ESP) X-Raid Mini +00h06m37s
3. Nasser Al-Attiyah (QAT) Toyota Gazoo +00h09m14s
1. Joan Barreda Bort (ESP) Honda 08h15m38s
2. Ricky Brabec (USA) Honda +00h06m23s
3. Ross Branch (BWA) Yamaha +00h06m37s
1. Dmitry Sotnikov (RUS) Kamaz Master 08h01m39s
2. Siarhei Viazovich (BLR) Maz Sportauto +00h17m14s
3. Anton Shibalov (RUS) Kamaz Master +00h22m03s
1. Francisco Lopez Contardo (CHL) Can-Am 08h58m13s
2. Aron Domzala (POL) Can-Am +00h00m39s
3. Gerard Farres Guell (ESP) Can-Am +00h01m01s