Spain double as Sainz back on course as Barreda seals hattrick

Sports Desk, Jan 8 (efe-epa).- The sixth stage of the Dakar Rally on Friday saw a Spanish double win, as Carlos Sainz (Mini) recovered from disappointing recent performances to victory in the cars and Joan Barreda (Honda) took his third stage win of the race in the motorbikes category.

Sainz’s performance on the 100-kilometer route between Al Qaisumah and Ha Il puts him back on track after twice getting lost in recent days, scuppering his chances of retaining his title.

At the finish line, he cut 7.16 minutes off the Qatari Al Attiyah and 7.36 minutes off the leader, the Frenchman Peterhansel. In the general classification he is third, more than 40 minutes away from the leader, a likely insurmountable advantage.

In motorcycles, Barreda went down in Dakar history with a third victory in this year’s edition, with the number 27 of his career, placing him in the top 3 of the most successful participants in the event.

Barreda’s win was not easy, with the drama lasting until the final meter as the Spaniard finished a mere 13 seconds ahead of the Ross Branch’s Yamaha and 53 seconds ahead of Daniel Sanders (KTM).

It was not a good day for Argentinean Kevin Benavides, 17th at 9.53, who finished the race with a broken nose the day before.

On day six he fell 2 minutes behind Australian Toby Price, who leads the bikes category.

The Chilean Nacho Cornejo (Honda) is third at 2.57 and Barreda seventh at 6.25 minutes.

It was a brilliant duel between Barreda and Price, who complicated the race for the Spaniard at kilometer 158, just 100 km from the finish line. Ricky Brabec, Daniel Sanders and Ross Branch also joined in the fight, placing within 1 minute of each other.

A favorable outcome for Barreda, who risked in the final stretch to reach a small advantage over Branch, but enough to say he has won half of the stages. EFE-EPA

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