- Advertisement -
Home Sports Dakar Rally bike leader Nacho retires, Peterhansel set for car title

Dakar Rally bike leader Nacho retires, Peterhansel set for car title

- Advertisement -

AL-ULA, Saudi Arabia, Jan 13The Dakar Rally motorbike leader Jose Ignacio Cornejo was forced to retire after a fall on Wednesday with Friday’s finish line agonisingly close as Stephane Peterhansel appeared to have all but wrapped up the car title.

The veteran Mini driver enjoys a 17-minute cushion over Qatari Nasser Al-Attiyah and a record-extending 14th Dakar crown now looks his to lose.

“Being in the lead is the best position, but it’s also where you’ve got the most to lose,” said the 55-year-old Frenchman who was first crowned champion in 1991 before luckless Cornejo was even born.

The 26-year-old Honda rider, nicknamed “Nacho”, fell 252km into the 10th stage in Saudi Arabia and although he remounted and completed the stage he agreed with the rally’s medical department to retire for fear of having suffered concussion.

The Dakar was living up to its fearsome reputation for the second time in 24 hours as the Chilean rider was airlifted to hospital where he joined Toby Price, the Australian two-time champion who requires collarbone surgery after suffering a dreadful fall on Tuesday’s ninth stage.

Dazed after landing on his head Price received immediate assistance from defending champion Ricky Brabec, who won Wednesday’s stage to sit just 50 seconds adrift of his Honda teammate, Argentine Kevin Benavides ahead of Thursday’s penultimate and decisive 11th stage.

Price posted a photo of himself from his hospital bed giving a thumbs up on Twitter alongside an update on his medical condition.

“Finally broken my 30th bone! I don’t remember much but I’ve got a pretty sore collarbone, shoulder and hand and will need surgery for that…”

He expressed disappointment at not riding into Jeddah, and thanked Brabec and British rider Sam Sunderland for coming to his rescue.

“Thank you @Sundersam and @rickyB357 for stopping to help me, I was off with the fairies that day but I heard you took good care of me!”

Thursday’s 11th stage features a 464 kilometre timed special, the longest of the rally, from Al Ula to Yanbu.

Peterhansel is approaching the stage with plenty of caution as to what the rest of the Dakar may have in store for him.

He came in third on Wednesday, finishing in runner-up Al-Attiyah’s wing mirrors with the day’s honours going to Saudi driver Yazeed Al Rahji.

“Being in the lead is the best position, but it’s also where you’ve got the most to lose,” said Mini driver Peterhansel.

“The pressure never goes away, from the moment you wake up until you go to bed.

“When you do well in a stage, you know it would be a real pity to see all that effort go down the drain!”

For Al-Attiyah, “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,” said the three-time winner.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Stay Connected

16,985FansLike
2,458FollowersFollow
61,453SubscribersSubscribe

Must Read

Uganda’s opposition supporters nervously await next move

Kampala, Uganda, Jan 22 – Across opposition strongholds in Uganda’s capital, the reaction to President Yoweri Museveni’s contested re-election has been muted, with his...
- Advertisement -

Coffins, fear and desperation: the Covid frontline in 10 pictures

© AFP / JENS SCHLUETERParis, France, Jan 22 – The coronavirus pandemic has shattered economies, left more than two million dead and paralysed lives....

Liverpool’s 68-game unbeaten home ended by shock Burnley defeat

LIVERPOOL, United Kingdom, Jan 21 – Liverpool’s 68-game unbeaten run in the Premier League at Anfield came to a stunning end as Ashley Barnes’s...

Miners express fear of plot to kick them out

Wycliff Kipsang @wsang08 More than 500 workers of a gold mining company in Nandi County have expressed fears of a plot by powerful individuals to kick...

Related News

Uganda’s opposition supporters nervously await next move

Kampala, Uganda, Jan 22 – Across opposition strongholds in Uganda’s capital, the reaction to President Yoweri Museveni’s contested re-election has been muted, with his...

Coffins, fear and desperation: the Covid frontline in 10 pictures

© AFP / JENS SCHLUETERParis, France, Jan 22 – The coronavirus pandemic has shattered economies, left more than two million dead and paralysed lives....

Liverpool’s 68-game unbeaten home ended by shock Burnley defeat

LIVERPOOL, United Kingdom, Jan 21 – Liverpool’s 68-game unbeaten run in the Premier League at Anfield came to a stunning end as Ashley Barnes’s...

Miners express fear of plot to kick them out

Wycliff Kipsang @wsang08 More than 500 workers of a gold mining company in Nandi County have expressed fears of a plot by powerful individuals to kick...

How ‘I lost cash’ in fake laptops tender

Bernice Mbugua @BerniceMuhindi When Charles Kamolo Musinga heard that Makindu Motors, a company he co-owns with businessman Stephen Ngei, had been shortlisted to supply laptops to...
- Advertisement -
%d bloggers like this: