Al Attiyah wins Dakar fourth stage

French driver Guerlain Chicherit and co-driver Alex Winocq crash their buggy during Stage 4 of the Dakar on Wednesday. — AFP
French driver Guerlain Chicherit and co-driver Alex Winocq crash their buggy during Stage 4 of the Dakar on Wednesday. — AFP

Qaisumah, Saudi Arabia - The Qatari, seeking a fourth Dakar title behind the wheel of a Toyota, pulled a further 25 seconds clear of Sebastien Loeb in the overall car rankings to lead the French rally star by 38mins 05sec



By AFP

Published: Wed 5 Jan 2022, 6:34 PM

Dakar Rally leader Nasser Al Attiyah took Wednesday's fourth stage in Riyadh after Saudi driver Yazeed Al Rajhi was caught out by a speeding penalty.

The home hope led the timings after the 465 kilometre trek across the desert from Qaisumah.

But a two minute sanction dropped him down to fifth, with Al Attiyah handed the stage to add to his success in the prologue and first stage.

Al Attiyah explained the inherited win had come at a price.

"We tried to set a high pace, but our plan was not having to open tomorrow (Thursday) because there will be no bikes and, therefore, no tracks," he said.

"But, even if we falter a bit tomorrow in these conditions, it will put us in a favourable position for the next day."

The Qatari, seeking a fourth Dakar title behind the wheel of a Toyota, pulled a further 25 seconds clear of Sebastien Loeb in the overall car rankings to lead the French rally star by 38mins 05sec.

Loeb, runner-up in the stage ahead of Carlos Sainz in Audi's new hybrid, had his prospects of overall victory dented on Tuesday after his car's propshaft broke after just 10km into the third stage.

In the bikes category Spain's Joan Barreda Bort notched up his second stage win in three days -- his 29th career special stage win in the race -- with Chile's Pablo Quintanilla in second.

Briton Sam Sunderland leads the overall standingd by three minutes over 2018 winner Matthias Walkner of Austria.


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