2021 Dakar Stage 3: Another win for Al-Attiyah’s HiLux
Nasser Al-Attiyah has moved into second overall in the 2021 Dakar standings after taking the Stage 3 win in his 4X4 Toyota Gazoo Racing HiLux.
Mr Dakar himself, Stephane Peterhansel (X-Raid Mini JCW Team), still leads the outright rankings in the 2021 Dakar, but Nasser Al-Attiyah (Toyota Gazoo Racing HiLux) has moved into second after taking the Stage 3 win after a gruelling high-altitude 403km special.
Stage 3 was run through soft dunes, rocky canyons and fast wide-open desert stretches, much of the time above 1000m. Peterhansel’s teammate, Carlos Sainz, had a shocker of a day, finishing Stage 3 in 21st position after navigation issues in the soft and windswept sands of the Saudi Arabian desert, dropping him to fourth overall behind Mathieu Serradori (SRT Racing).
In the Bike category, Aussie Toby Price (Red Bull KTM Factory Team) recovered from yesterday’s mechanical issues to take his second stage win, lifting him from 15th overall up into fourth. Price finished Stage 3 in first ahead of Kevin Benavides (Monster Energy Honda Team 2021) and Matthias Walkner (Red Bull KTM Factory Team). Dakar debutant, Aussie Daniel Sanders (KTM Factory Team), finished the stage in eighth, lifting him to 16th overall.
“I think the navigation is the biggest thing to it at the moment,” Toby Price said at the completion of the stage. “When you try and concentrate so much on the navigation and not on the speed, you lose a lot of time because if you make the right way, and the correct way, you put that fresh line down for everybody just to nail the navigation that start behind you. The navigation is extremely difficult, so when you’re out in the front you’re going to lose time… It’s really strange; I’ve won two stages and I’m sitting fourth outright in the general standings. Normally when you lose 28-30 minutes on one stage, it normally counts your Dakar out, but we’re still in the race, but it’s very, very confusing at the moment.”
Siarhei Viazovich (Maz-Sportauto) took the stage win in the Trucks ahead of Dmitry Sotnikov (Kamaz – Master). Sotnikov remains the overall leader in the category.