Dakar 2018: Stage Thirteen Updates
Words: Afzal Rawuther
Carlos Sainz inched closer to his second Dakar victory with a strong show in Stage 13. His teammate Peterhansel, however, hit a tree early in the day and lost a considerable amount of time and a thumb sprain potentially put him out of the reckoning for a podium finish in the general classification. The San-Juan to Cordoba stage featured two timed sections of 124km and 244km separated by a 382km liaison.
Nasser Al-Attiyah went on to win his fourth stage of this year’s Dakar but still finds him trailing Sainz by 46 minutes in the general classification. Overdrive’s Lucio Alvarez and Toyota Gazoo’s Giniel de Villiers finished second and third in the stage respectively. Giniel de Villiers is now positioned third in the general classification as well. Following in fourth is Peterhansel ahead of the final stage that comprises of a 120km loop around Cordoba.
Meanwhile, Toby Price won his second consecutive stage as his KTM teammate Matthias Walkner went about cruising towards the finish line in the fourth position, with his sizeable lead in the general classification, losing only 9 minutes and 48 seconds of his advantage with Kevin Benavides and Antoine Meo finishing closely behind. Benavides trails Walkner and leads Price by 5 minutes and 14 seconds in the general classification, with his eyes set on the runner-up position.
Hero MotoSports and Sherco-TVS had a good outing in the penultimate stage. Oriol Mena from Hero MotoSports continued his stellar run at this year’s Dakar with another high placed finish, finishing eighth in the stage while his teammate CS Santosh finished 33rd. Sherco-TVS ace Joan Pedrero finished fifth in the stage.
In the quads category, Ignacio Casale continued from where he left off after stage 11 and finished third in the stage behind Jeremias Ferioli and Nelson Augusto. However, Casale was trailing behind only by four minutes in the stage. In SxS, Patrice Garrouste won the stage by nine minutes over his nearest competitor Reinaldo Varela who also happens to be the rally leader going into the final stage with a more than sizeable lead. In the trucks category, Eduard Nikolaev won yet another stage on his march towards the finish line.
In the final stage, the shortest after the prologue, competitors will follow a 120 km loop around Cordoba.