Friday, January 28

Auto sport. Dakar-2022: Loeb, winner of today’s stage, kept his promise

Saturday in Riyadh, Sébastien Loeb had announced it: in the second week, neither calculation nor strategy, it will be necessary to attack. “We are no longer thinking that we are going to try not to win a certain stage so as not to have to open the road to the next one. We will do our best in each special and we will see where we are at the end, ”he explained.

Sixteenth success on the Dakar

Third at the halfway point, more than 50 minutes from Nasser al-Attiyah, the nine-time world rally champion therefore set off on a hunt with his red Hunter between the Saudi capital and Al Dawadimi (402 km). His good position at the start (23rd), following a stage 6 weighed down by two navigation errors on Friday, was beneficial to him.

On a well-marked track, Loeb was able to give free rein to his driving and move up the peloton to finally set the best time, recovering 5’26 ” from the Qatari. This is his second victory in this edition, the sixteenth since his debut in the discipline in 2016.

We did a super special up to 50 kilometers from the end

“We did a super special up to 50 kilometers from the end, where we had a fuel pressure problem with the engine that ‘ratatouille’, it’s a little frustrating even if we signed the best time, ”he explains.

In the general classification, he recovers second place 44’59 ” behind the Qatari. The counterpart of this coup is that he will have to open the road on Monday in a stage 8 considered delicate in terms of navigation. What does it matter, finally, since he wants to attack without asking any questions.

Moto: Adrien Van Beveren takes the lead!

This 7th stage of the Dakar made it possible to witness a great upheaval at the top of the motorcycle classification. Even before the start of the 402 km special between Riyadh and Al Dawadimi, Daniel Sanders (GasGas) crashed on the link course. Evacuated to the hospital, the one who occupied the 3rd place of the general suffers from an injury to the elbow. His rally is over.

In the absence of the Australian, it was his English teammate Sam Sunderland who led the way and lost a lot of time, more than 25 minutes on the winner of the day, the Chlien José Ignacio Cornejo (Honda), at the like the second overall, the Austrian Matthias Walkner (KTM).

Four withdrawals in a row

Starting further down the track (8th), Adrien Van Beveren was the big beneficiary of the day. Fourth overall on the morning of the stage, the Yamaha rider from Racquinghem, in the Pas-de-Calais, made up for his delay to take control of the rally, now more than five minutes ahead of Walkner and the Argentinian Kevin Benavides (KTM), came back from nowhere after his setbacks in the first stage.

Van Beveren had not held the head of the Dakar since the 2018 edition in South America, before a fateful fall that marked the beginning of trouble since he has not crossed the finish line since.


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