Al-Attiyah wins final stage for hard-fought second
January 17 2020 11:50 PM
Qatar's Nasser Saleh al-Attiyah (right) and his French co-driver Mathieu Baumel pose with their runn
Qatar's Nasser Saleh al-Attiyah (right) and his French co-driver Mathieu Baumel pose with their runner-up trophies after the Dakar Rally 2020 in Qiddiya, Saudi Arabia, Friday. The defending champion won the final stage to see off the challenge from 13-time champion Stephane Peterhansel for the second spot. Spaniard Carlos Sainz won the title for the third time in his career


*Veteran Spaniard Carlos Sainz wins Dakar Rally for the third time; Brabec first US rider to triumph in motorbike section


Qatar’s Nasser Saleh al-Attiyah won the final stage of the Dakar Rally 2020 but it wasn’t enough to overhaul Carlos Sainz’s overall lead as the veteran Spaniard won the title for the third time in his career.
The 57-year-old crossed the line in the 12th and final stage 6min 21sec ahead of nearest challenger and defending champion al-Attiyah, who had managed to cut Sainz’s lead to just 24 seconds on Tuesday but fell back after navigation blunders.
However, al-Attiyah’s final stage win ensured he saw off the challenge from 13-time champion Stéphane Peterhansel for the second spot.


Qatar’s Nasser Saleh al-Attiyah (right) and French co-driver Mathieu Baumel celebrate after winning the final stage and finishing second overall in the Dakar Rally 2020 in Qiddiya, Saudi Arabia, Friday. (Red Bull Content Pool)


Spain’s Carlos Sainz (right) and co-driver Lucas Cruz celebrate their win in the Dakar Rally 2020 Friday. (Red Bull Content Pool)

Al-Attiyah said: “I’m quite happy. We did a good job to finish second even though we wanted to win. We made two or three mistakes along the way and had loads of punctures. It was going well on that 10th stage with no problems. We caught Stéphane and then, at one point, we got a little bit lost for two or three minutes. Then we got to the waypoint and then we took the wrong way. We did around 20km extra. “But I’m rather happy. I’m elated that we are racing here. I’m coming back to win next year. I just needed a bit more luck...”
 Sainz, the father of Formula 1 driver Carlos Sainz Jr., seized control of the race from the third stage in his X-raid Mini. “I feel very happy. There’s a lot of effort behind this. A lot of training, practice,” Sainz told the race’s website.
 “It has been a flat out rally since the beginning. It was fantastic, a first time in Saudi Arabia, of course you can always improve but it was a fantastic effort,” he added. Asked about defending his title next year Sainz said: “It’s too early to think about it, let me enjoy this.”
 He has now won the Dakar with three different manufacturers, having previously triumphed with Volkswagen in 2010 and Peugeot in 2018. Peterhansel was third at 9min 58sec behind in his Mini.
Both the Frenchman and Sainz won four stages in the marathon 12- day, 7,800-kilometre (4,800- mile) race. Ricky Brabec triumphed in the motorbike section for Honda, becoming the first US rider to win the gruelling race.
Two-time F1 champion Fernando Alonso finished 13th on his Dakar debut, nearly five hours behind the winner. Alonso came second in one stage but his first participation in the Dakar was a bruising affair as the 38-year-old Spaniard suffered a double rollover in the 10th stage after hitting a dune at an awkward angle. The race was marred by the death of Portuguese rider Paulo Goncalves during Sunday’s seventh stage.

OVERALL STANDINGS
1. Carlos Sainz (ESP)/Lucas Cruz (ESP) MINI John Cooper Works Buggy 42hr 59min 17sec
2. Nasser Saleh al-Attiyah (QAT)/ Matthieu Baumel (FRA) Toyota Hilux 43hr 05min 38sec
3. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA)/ Paulo Fiuza (PRT) MINI John Cooper Works Buggy 43hr 09min 15sec
4. Yazeed al-Rajhi (SAU)/Konstantin Zhiltsov (RUS) Toyota Hilux Overdrive 43hr 48min 27sec
 5. Giniel de Villiers (ZAF)/Alex Haro (ESP) Toyota Hilux 44hr 06min 26sec
6. Orlando Terranova (ARG)/ Ronnie Graue (ARG) MINI John Cooper Works Rally 44hr 11min 32sec
7. Bernhard Ten Brinke (NLD)/ Tom Colsoul (BEL) Toyota Hilux 44hr 17min 51sec
8. Mathieu Serradori (FRA)/Fabian Lurquin (BEL) Century Buggy 44hr 58min 38sec
9. Yasir Seaidan (SAU)/Alexei Kuzmich (RUS) MINI John Cooper Works Rally 46hr 41min 34sec
10. Wei Han (CHN)/Min Liao (CHN) Hanwei Motorsport 2WD 46hr 50min 24sec

Last updated: January 18 2020 12:12 AM


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