Dakar Rally Stage 6 completed- half-way point- Rest Day tomorrow- Women great results

Dakar Rally Stage 6 completed- half-way point- Rest Day tomorrow- Women great results

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Dakar Rally Stage 6 is completed with competitors racing longest day yet 830 kms with 477 kms timed from Hi’al to capital city of Saudia Arabia- Riyadh.

With exceptional performances by all Women to half-way point in Dakar 2020, it is not without gratitude that Rest Day is tomorrow before 2nd week of Stages 7-12 are completed. Leaving Hi’al in cold conditions all riders and drivers had real test of racing in sand dunes- suprising some on how rider-bike managed the terrain while some experienced challenges second to none.

Laia Sanz blitzed rankings finishing 14th in Stage and now stands 18th Overall. As Laia stated earlier pre-Dakar Rally- ‘I know the top riders are very fast, but I am aiming for top 15 place’- that would be amazing.

Laia Sanz night before Stage 6 Photo Credit: Laia

Laia: ‘Today’s stage has gone very well – at last! I had a few bad days after my crash, but today I’ve felt good on the bike and I’ve had fun riding in a group in places and passing some people. Now the rest day and then to try and continue like this in the second week’. 

Mirjam Pol consolidated on fine progress made in Stage 5 to master sand dunes and gain extra boost in confidence from finishing 45th placing the one of few Dutch riders in the Dakar at 54th Overall.

Mirjam: ‘This is my kind of stage, I had a great ride and had a great time. The first piece was fast and then the dunes followed. The dunes are beautiful, if you understand them’.

‘I didn’t expect that result yet, certainly not already in the first week of the rally. I’m definitely happy with that. And that’s what I’m going to do with the rest day with a good feeling going into the rest day, mentally is also important’.

Taye Perry spoke of Stage 6 completed with so much ease, calm composure you would think the rookie has just finished a couple of kms instead of 477 kms under the clock. Coming in 53rd over 6 hours- 6 minutes- 47 seconds, Taye now stands 60th Overall and places 8th as first female in Newcomers Category.

Sara Garcia Stage 6 Original by Motul Overall 22nd Photo Credit: ASO

Taye: ‘Done Loved it! Despite going down in the dunes twice… onto rest day for us now’.

Fellow rookie Kirsten Landman put in consistent performance coming in 19 minutes after Taye to stand 65th Overall.

Huge congratulations to Sara Garcia for pulling off huge task to race and maintain bike after each Stage- which Factory Teams say can take 1-2-4 hours- to all night depending on effect of terrain on machine.

Sara: ‘It has been a long day but we are happy to have finally reached the rest stage. Today the dunes have made this sixth day incredible with stunning landscapes that we have gone through throughout today’s phase❣️ 

‘We had to stop every 30kms to re-adjust one of the navigation tower screws, but we have achieved it & we will take full advantage of the rest to reload & continue to the bottom of the canyon’.

In Car category, Cristina Gutierrez and co-driver Pablo Moreno tuned into racing sand dunes with all power in car- definitely made a difference for morale and enjoyment factor.

Fernanda Kanno and co-driver Alonso Carillo Stage 5 Photo Credit: ASO

Cristina: ‘Super fast and beautiful stage, I really enjoyed it! 🙌 We finally have the car at 100%, we have been in competitive rhythms and we have felt the feeling we needed. I am physically butt but tomorrow it is time to rest and recover to face the following week. Thank you all for your support, you are great 😘! 🐢💨

Already 43 riders and drivers across all categories have withdrawn due to few injuries and mechanical issues. At time of writing this article, I am waiting to hear on Fernanda Kanno and co-driver Alonso Carillo finish time in Car category and also Camelia Liparoti and Annett Fischer in SSV class. Both categories have final Team drivers coming through in over 78 hours of race time for Car and SSV, so will up-date news when comes to hand.

Dakar Rally Saturday January 11th Rest Day, Stage 7 Riyadh to Wadi Al Dawasir 741 kms 546 kms timed.

Words: Sharon Cox.

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