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.

Dakar 2020: Stage 2 Thrills and Spills on the Way to Neom ADV Rider

Ricky Brabec still going strong. Image: ASO

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” + 00H 01′ 24”
3 5 ROCKSTAR ENERGY HUSQVARNA FACTORY RACING 03H 41′ 31” + 00H 02′ 21”
4 7 MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM 2020 03H 42′ 50” + 00H 03′ 40”
5 16 RED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM 03H 42′ 54” + 00H 03′ 44”
6 12 MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM 2020 03H 44′ 07” + 00H 04′ 57”
7 17 MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM 2020 03H 45′ 08” + 00H 05′ 58” 00H 01′ 00”
8 2 RED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM 03H 45′ 09” + 00H 05′ 59”
9 10 MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA RALLY TEAM 03H 45′ 18” + 00H 06′ 08”
10 6 ROCKSTAR ENERGY HUSQVARNA FACTORY RACING 03H 46′ 10” + 00H 07′ 00”
11 59 KLYMCIW RACING 03H 46′ 52” + 00H 07′ 42”
12 9 MONSTER ENERGY HONDA TEAM 2020 03H 47′ 55” + 00H 08′ 45”
13 8 HERO MOTOSPORTS TEAM RALLY 03H 48′ 42” + 00H 09′ 32”
14 4 MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA RALLY TEAM 03H 48′ 58” + 00H 09′ 48”
15 22 MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA RALLY TEAM 03H 49′ 00” + 00H 09′ 50”
16 19 SLOVNAFT RALLY TEAM 03H 50′ 25” + 00H 11′ 15”
17 1 RED BULL KTM FACTORY TEAM 03H 51′ 23” + 00H 12′ 13”
18 56 YAMAHA MOTOR AUSTRALIA 03H 56′ 27” + 00H 17′ 17”
19 24 SHERCO TVS RALLY FACTORY 03H 57′ 35” + 00H 18′ 25”
20 11 SHERCO TVS RALLY FACTORY 03H 57′ 42” + 00H 18′ 32”

 

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