Rally Dakar 2021 A navigation error thwarts the British comeback
SI was waiting emotional in the motorcycle category … and there will be until the last day. Because stage 11 has not disappointed. He has not decided on the Dakar, it is true … but he has pushed it even more and about to turn it ‘upside down’.
Because although the lucha Honda vs KTM It was a ‘three against one’, Sam Sunderland was about to complete a coup d’état that would have revolutionized the classification. In fact, With only 30 kilometers to go, he had taken away Kevin Benavides 9:50 from 10:36 with whom he went to the special. But in that final stretch the British lost … and with it his advantage was reduced to the final 6:24 that give Honda’s Argentine a break.
Benavides has seen dragged into the abyss by the future of a stage that has become entangled, and in what way, Honda. The advantage he had of having Brabec and Barreda in front of him marking the way has been fading with the american mistakes -of navigation- and from spanish – surprisingly skipping a refuelling-. Thus, he has found himself in the middle of the stage with the current Dakar winner, opening the track and almost giving up the lead, something that I would never have imagined before starting the day.
Brabec, the third contender, actually left longer than he should, almost 13 minutes with Sunderland (12:46), due to a couple of navigation errors in the first part of the stage, when he opened the track and before his partner Benavides reached him, who has lost much more time in the final part due to that circumstance: without Brabec’s guide the two Honda riders have done each other a disservice.
Lucky for them a Sunderland navigation error in the last few kilometers has given them a break for the stage end of tomorrow, 225 kilometers of travel (a more selective distance than is usual in a rally close). Benavides will go out to the key day with 4:12 on Sunderland and 7:13 on Brabec.
Taking into account that tomorrow the riders start in the reverse order of qualifying, we will see what strategic approach Honda wants to make to protect Benavides’ leadership, which, which is certain, is that it will not have a final ‘ride’ stage.
We say that stage 11 has not decided the Dakar … except for Barreda, who has made a historical mistake, one of those that remain for the legend of the event. The one in Castelln has skipped nothing less than a refueling point (refuelling, in Dakarian slang) a vital moment because motorcycles cannot complete the route without refueling.
“The roadbook tells you, there is a radar, panels, the GPS warns you … it is impossible to skip a refueling” said some pilots to MARCA incredulous about what happened with the Honda pilot, who as a result of that error was left without gasoline a hundred kilometers later saying goodbye to any option in the race. In fact, the Spaniard has abandoned the race by requesting medical attention and having to be evacuated to the camp by helicopter.
More from Author Travis M. Andrews here: https://globelivemedia.com/author/travis-m-andrews/
Travis M. Andrews is a features writer for The Washington Post. He joined The Post in 2016 as a reporter for Morning Mix. He was previously a travel and culture editor for Southern Living magazine, a contributing pop culture reporter for Mashable and the Week, and a contributing editor for the Syfy blog Dvice. He also has freelanced for magazines, including Esquire, GQ and Time. He is the author of the coming book “Because He’s Jeff Goldblum,” a semi-rumination and semi-ridiculous look at the career of the enigmatic actor and an exploration of the shifting nature of fame in the 21st century, to be published in November by Plume.