Terranova takes surprise stage 6 win at Dakar

Sports Desk, Jan 6 (EFE).- The Argentine Orlando Terranova and his co-driver, Spaniard Daniel Oliveras Carreras (Bahrain Raid Xtreme) delivered a surprise Friday in the sixth stage in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), and won the car category ahead of the big favorites.

They were one minute and six seconds ahead of Sweden’s Mattias Ekström (Audi) and 1’49” ahead of Saudi Arabia’s Yazeed Al Rajhi (Overdrive Toyota), who has yet to win a stage victory on home soil in this edition of the Dakar, but managed a result that puts him second overall, 50’19” behind the leader, Qatar’s Nasser Al-Attiyah.

Terranova also beat his other teammate, Spaniard Nani Roma. The winner in motorcycles in 2004 and in cars in 2014 fully recovered from physical and confidence problems after overturning in the fourth stage and finished Friday in fifth position.

The BRX team can celebrate Terranova’s stage victory, but the fight to beat Al-Attiyah and take the crown is more difficult than ever, as Frenchman Sebastien Loeb (Bahrain Raid Xtreme) has dropped to third place in the general standings and is 50’25” behind.

Argentinian Lucio Alvarez and Spaniard Armand Monleon (Overdrive Toyota) also dropped to fourth place in the general standings following a bad sixth stage for both of them after losing 21’59”, which puts them 16 minutes and 33 seconds away from regaining the third step of the final podium.

But the day still got away from Spaniard Carlos Sainz (Audi). He was first at 41 kilometers, but from then on he suffered problems in his innovative hybrid vehicle that caused him to lose up to 41’23” to Terranova. Since winning the fourth stage, the three-time Dakar champion (2010, 2018, 2020) has accumulated two consecutive days without being able to fight for the top places in the special stage.

A stage that was also marked by what happened beyond the vehicles, as the French government assured that they would have preferred to cancel the Dakar because they suspect that the explosion that took place in Saudi Arabia on December 30 and that affected Philippe Boutron’s vehicle could be a terrorist act.

“We have to remain very vigilant. We thought it might have been worthwhile to abandon this race. The organizers decided to keep it on and in this case we have to be cautious,” said French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on BFM TV. EFE


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