The Dakar 2020 Al Wajh – Neom super marathon section, consisting of a grueling 367 km special stage, has already claimed several withdrawals in the motorcycle class as well as cost the leading riders significant time. Ross Branch, a KTM rider from Botswana known locally as the “Kalahari Ferrari”, has won the second stage leaving leaders Price and Walkner well behind. “It feels amazing! I’ve worked for this my entire life, so getting a stage win – I’m just extremely happy. It also shows I’m getting better at navigation, so that makes me happy, too. Still, I just hope to finish, and every day, get a bit faster, a bit closer to the fast guys”, Branch said.
Toby Price has struggled throughout the entire stage, chasing Joan Barreda and Ricky Brabec. Laia Sanz had a fall during the first part of the stage. The Spaniard got back into the saddle and finished the stage, but the fall cost her twenty minutes pushing her out of the top 20.
Several riders have commented they have found navigation tricky again; is it possible that today’s policy of handing out already color-coded roadbooks just before the start is changing the game?
“I think we all feel a little anxious because as you haven’t been able to look at the roadbook, it’s a bit harder to plan ahead”, Price has said. Ross Branch, on the other hand, said he welcomed the change. “I actually like the idea of getting the roadbook in the morning, it makes it more exciting for everyone!”
“I dig it, it saved me four hours of work and gave me more time to rest last night!” Skyler Howes commented.
|1||18||BAS DAKAR KTM RACING TEAM||03H 39′ 10”|
|2||3||RED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM||03H 40′ 34”|
|3||5||ROCKSTAR ENERGY HUSQVARNA FACTORY RACING||03H 41′ 31”|
|4||7||MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM 2020||03H 42′ 50”|
|5||16||RED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM||03H 42′ 54”|
|6||12||MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM 2020||03H 44′ 07”|
|7||17||MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM 2020||03H 45′ 08”|
|8||2||RED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM||03H 45′ 09”|
|9||10||MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA RALLY TEAM||03H 45′ 18”|
|10||6||ROCKSTAR ENERGY HUSQVARNA FACTORY RACING||03H 46′ 10”|
|11||59||KLYMCIW RACING||03H 46′ 52”|
|12||9||MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM 2020||03H 47′ 55”|
|13||8||HERO MOTOSPORTS TEAM RALLY||03H 48′ 42”|
|14||4||MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA RALLY TEAM||03H 48′ 58”|
|15||22||MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA RALLY TEAM||03H 49′ 00”|
|16||19||SLOVNAFT RALLY TEAM||03H 50′ 25”|
|17||1||RED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM||03H 51′ 23”|
|18||56||YAMAHA MOTOR AUSTRALIA||03H 56′ 27”|
|19||24||SHERCO TVS RALLY FACTORY||03H 57′ 35”|
|20||11||SHERCO TVS RALLY FACTORY||03H 57′ 42”|