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Qatar’s al-Attiyah wins first Dakar special

6. Qatar's al-Attiyah wins first Dakar special
Toyota's driver Nasser Al-Attiyah of Qatar and his co-driver Mathieu Baumel of France compete during Stage 1B of the Dakar Rally 2022 around the Saudi city of Hail, on January 2, 2022. (Photo: AFP)
HAIL, Saudi Arabia — Qatari Nasser Al-Attiyah won the first special of the Dakar Rally on Sunday to extend his race lead after victory in the prologue.اضافة اعلان

The 51-year-old, looking to win the race for the fourth time, finished the stage 12 minutes and seven seconds quicker than nine-time world rally champion Sebastien Loeb in second place.

The 333km loop around northern Saudi Arabia saw several competitors suffer navigational difficulties, resulting in large time gaps.

Record 14-time Dakar winner Stephane Peterhansel, nicknamed “Monsieur Dakar”, lost a lot of time after losing a wheel of his Audi.

The Frenchman could now decide to withdraw from the race after having to wait for several hours for assistance.

Australian Daniel Sanders extended his early advantage in the bikes category, beating Chilean Pablo Quintanilla by 3mins and 7secs on Sunday.

“In the end, a lot of guys got lost and, luckily, we got onto the right track,” said Sanders.

“It was a good, strong finish. I just didn’t push too much at the start, just gave it a nice rhythm, and at the end I tried to open as much as I could.”

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