Cherpin’s death tarnishes the titles of Peterhansel and Benavides

Cherpin’s death tarnishes the titles of Peterhansel and Benavides

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Sports writing, Jan 15 (EFE) .- The death of the French motorcycle pilot Pierre Cherpin has been the negative note of the 43rd edition of the Dakar rally in which the Frenchman Stéphane Peterhansel, in cars, and the Argentine Kevin Benavides, in motorcycles , they achieved glory.
Cherpin, an amateur pilot whose only goal was to experience adventure and discover new places, suffered a head injury in the seventh stage and after five days in an induced coma he died when he was transferred by medical plane from Jeddah to Lille (France).
Peterhansel, ‘Monsieur Dakar’, lived up to his nickname with his fourteenth victory in 30 years, six in motorcycles with Yamaha from 1991 to 1998 and eight in cars with Mitsubishi (2004, 05 and 07), with Mini (2012 and 13) , with Peugeot (2016 and 17) and again with Mini in this edition.
The Frenchman was the pilot who best adapted to the harsh conditions of the Saudi race, where sailing achieved greater prominence than in other editions.
The harshness of the route made the speed go to a lower level and that the adaptation to the characteristics of each stage was essential. That is where the experience of a Peterhansel appeared, this time with a new co-driver, Edouard Boulanger, to dominate with an iron hand the 43rd edition of the desert race par excellence.
The Spanish Carlos Sainz (Mini) fought against the Dakar and against adversity. Too many breakdowns, too many punctures and also too many navigation errors. The Spaniard perhaps proved to be the fastest, but this Dakar prevailed in other aspects.
Still three stage wins and a podium position is not a bad baggage.
Argentine Kevin Benavides (Honda) became the first South American Dakar champion in the motorcycle category, something he was about to achieve two years ago.
Benavides, very solid during the last week, had British Sam Sunderland (KTM) as the main rival for the title and who was hurt by having to open the track, after his victory on Thursday’s stage.
Sunderland lost 10 minutes, already in the first control, with Benavides and from that moment the Argentine masterfully controlled the situation to achieve a historic victory.
The second Argentine joy came on a quad with Manuel Andújar (Yamaha), who was the rider who best knew how to handle the toughness of the Dakar and who has been in a position to win when his rivals have made driving errors or when his mechanics have failed.
Chilean Francisco ‘Chaleco’ López (Can-Am) claimed victory in the Dakar light vehicle category, second in his track record after that achieved in 2019, ahead of American Austin Jones.
Russia’s Dmitry Sotnikov (Kamaz) finally clinched the truck title, giving his brand its fifth consecutive win.
 

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