Sainz falls out of Dakar Rally lead, Al-Attiyah takes over

January 3, 2023 GMT

HA’IL, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Carlos Sainz tumbled out of the lead at the Dakar Rally when he had rear suspension problems then was washed out in northwest Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.

Nasser Al-Attiyah moved into the overall lead after finishing fourth on the third stage through canyons between AlUla and Ha’il.

In the motorbike division, Ricky Brabec, the first American winner in 2020, was taken to the hospital with a neck injury after a fall about 270 kilometers in. Starting the day sixth overall, Brabec’s race was in doubt only two days after British defending champion Sam Sunderland withdrew when he broke his shoulder blade in a fall.

Sainz was among the leaders early in the 447-kilometer special but stopped for repairs at about halfway for 45 minutes. By the time he reached the third checkpoint at 377 kilometers, the stage was stopped because of heavy rain and hail.

Guerlain Chicherit, a day after three punctures cost him 3 1/2 hours, won a stage for the first time in 10 years. Orlando Terranova was five minutes behind in second, followed by local driver Yazeed Al Rajhi.


Al Rajhi leaped from sixth overall to second, more than 13 minutes behind Al-Attiyah.

Al Attiyah was among only nine cars that finished in time before the stage was stopped by the bad weather then eventually canceled so as not to burden emergency responders.

Australian rider Daniel Sanders deliberately slowed down to avoid winning stage two, but won on Tuesday after leading most of the special.

Sanders also moved into the overall lead, limited to four minutes up on Mason Klein, who swept up nearly six minutes of time bonuses from opening the way.

The stage shook up the field. There were seven other riders within seven minutes of leader Klein on Monday, but only two within seven minutes of the lead on Tuesday.

Kevin Benavides moved ahead of Toby Price and Joan Barreda to third overall.


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