Dakar 2021 Stage 10 | Second consecutive top 25 finish for Harith Noah
Harith Noah is on a roll! After breaking into the top 25 in the previous stage, the TVS Racing-sponsored privateer at the 2021 Dakar rally put in a strong performance in the tenth stage as well, finishing P16 in the stage rankings and P24 in the overall rankings, which is a gain of one spot in both categories. Further, he finished the tenth stage, sprint from Neom to Al Ula (583km overall, with a 342km special) in a commendable 3:38:16 hours, which put him just 25:43 minutes adrift of stage leader Monster Energy Honda's Ricky Brabec.
Harith found Stage 10 to be short but very complicated navigation wise. He rode through most of the stage with FN Speed KTM Team’s Jaume Betriu and Orion Moto Racing Group’s Martin Michek, and was keeping his focus on minimising any mistakes. He did face an issue with his beeper (a kind of horn or alarm to alert riders of a vehicle coming up behind them), which he fixed during the neutralisation zone, essentially a kind of transit area which isn’t a part of the stage.
The penultimate stage of the 2021 Dakar (Stage 11), traversing from Al Ula to Yanbu, was initially a 645km distance, with a 134km liaison and 511km special. However, the organiser has reduced the the stage by 47km, to a 464km special due to bad weather which is said to have erased the tracks in some sectors. The shortened stage also means that a total of 70km out of the 464km special will comprise the neutralisation zone. That said, the stage will still be quite difficult to manage, considering the abundance of dunes which will surely be a challenge for both the competitors and their vehicles.