Van Beveren regains the lead in cycling, and Quintero sets the record in the tenth stage of the Dakar

Stage 10 of the 44th Dakar Rally saw another tweak in the ranks of ultra-competitive motorcycles, a record-restricted in T3, and 1-2 electric in cars.

In the bicycle category, Frenchman Adrien van Beveren (Pictured above) is back in general driving after several racers ran into trouble today’s 759 km/472 mile race through the rocky outcrops of Wadi Al Dawasir.

Up front after Honda driver Ricky Brabec and Jose Ignacio Cornego Florimo made a navigation error, Matthias Walkner made a mistake in the latter part, allowing the rest of the field to catch up. He came in at the fastest time of 15 minutes 55 seconds, set by Australian Toby Price. Britain’s Sam Sunderland was also far from the lead, with 11min 18sec 17th, enabling Yamaha rider Van Beveren to snatch the overall lead for the second time this year. He now has 4m15s on Pablo Quintanilla’s Honda, 5m59s on GasGas man Sunderland, 6m47s on Honda Barreda – who snuck back into the competition – and 8 M24s on KTM Walkner, who slipped from first to fifth.

American Seth Quintero continued his march into Dakar history, winning stage ten in the T3 Light Prototypes. He led the day’s stage by two and a half minutes to save Christina Gutierrez, making him the second driver in history to have 10 wins in a single stage at the Dakar, after Pierre Lartigue in 1994. Himself alone on the record.

“Having a record set 18 years before I was born is absolutely amazing,” said the Red Bull Junior driver. “I really want to try to make everyone back home proud.”

Fellow American Austin Jones may not be in line for a record, but he has a chance at something Quintero doesn’t have – an overall win in the class. The Can-Am driver leads the SSV class by 11:54 after finishing fifth on the day’s stage, not taking anything for granted yet.

“It’s been tough. All these guys are really fast — everyone is really great this year, and everyone is doing really well,” he said. “The progress is not very big, but as long as we keep this to the end, it doesn’t matter if you win by a second or an hour, winning means winning.”

In the motorsport ranks, Nasser Al-Attiyah continues to defend his comfortable lead with conservative rides allowing some of his rivals to grab the spotlight. Today it’s Dakar veteran Stéphane Peterhansel’s turn to lead the way with the electric Audi RS Q e-tron, driving teammate Carlos Sainz. Al-Attiyah only finished seventh, losing 5m 50sec, but still leads Bahrain Red Extreme’s Sebastien Loeb by 32min 40sec with two stages remaining.

“It was one of our first clean private offerings, with no shock absorber issues, punctures or navigation issues,” Peterhansel said. “We haven’t had any big mechanics since the start of week two, so we’re making good progress and enjoying the ride. I’m not necessarily a theater hunter, but every Audi driver has now won a stage, which is great.

“When Carlos became the first driver to win the Dakar stage with an electric car, that was a milestone – now we’ve confirmed that performance. It’s good for morale, not least because it comes after a complicated start to rally. We need to win in 2023. Failure is not an option. Anyway. Anyway, we need to be prepared. But it’s never easy. If you lose an hour and 30 minutes to a navigational error, the best car in the world won’t put you back in the competition.”

Elsewhere, Marcelo Medeiros earned bragging rights on this year’s second stage in the quads. The Brazilian, who trailed in the overall standings by more than 22:30, finished the race just six minutes ahead of Frenchman Alexandre Giroud, who came third today. The second-placed rider, Kamil Wisniewski, climbed to the same position overall thanks to DNF Pablo Copti, but is still more than two and a half hours behind Giroud, and now two stages away from glory.


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