In the latest dramatic twist in what has already been an unforgiving 2021 Dakar Rally, former motorcycle class leader Nacho Cornejo has been forced to withdraw from the event after a crash 252 kilometers into today’s Stage 10 from Neom to Al Ula. Cornejo’s incident has opened the door for his Monster Energy Honda teammates Ricky Brabec, who won the stage, and Kevin Benavides, who reclaimed the overall lead by 51 seconds, to battle it out for the victory over the final two days of the rally. While Cornejo finished the stage in spite of his crash, and remained in an overall podium place, the decision was made for Cornejo to abandon the rally after a post-stage medical examination.
Yazeed Al Rajhi took the victory in the car class, his second win in four days and seventh top-six finish so far in the rally. Nasser Al-Attiyah was second, but could only make up 49 seconds on incoming leader Stephane Peterhansel, who remains just over 17 minutes ahead of Al-Attiyah. Barring major issues for both, defending winner Carlos Sainz appears resigned to third overall this year; the Spaniard sits more than an hour behind his X-Raid Mini JCW teammate for the lead, but also over an hour ahead of Jakub Pryzgonski for fourth.
Sergei Kariakin and Austin Jones bounced back from their struggles in the Neom loop stage yesterday to rank 1-2 in the T4 SSV standings, each gaining over two minutes on overall leader Chaleco Lopez, who finished sixth on the day. WRC veteran Kris Meeke topped the T3 lightweight prototype standings at seventh fastest among all UTVs, but no T3 ranks in the overall UTV top 10 after Seth Quintero’s breakdown yesterday.
The top five riders in the overall quad standings came in the top five on stage today, with fifth place Italo Pedemonte on top. All ranked within 5:14 of one another, but Manuel Andujar remains 21 minutes ahead of Alexandre Giroud for the top spot. In the trucks, Martin Macik scored his second stage win in a row, with overall leader Dmitry Sotnikov in second. Finally, Lilian Harichoury’s vintage Renault 420DCI truck topped the Dakar Classic standings, with Kilian Revuelta in second and Marc Douton continuing to grow his overall advantage at third on stage.
Tomorrow’s Stage 11 from Al Ula to Yanbu has been shortened by roughly 50 kilometers due to weather in the area, but the timetable will stay the same. The timetable has changed, however, for American fans looking to follow along with the rally via NBC Sports Network coverage; due to the NHL season openers tonight, viewers will have to wait to watch Stage 10 coverage at 1:30AM ET/10:30PM PT. Stage 11 coverage will air tomorrow at 9PM ET/6PM PT, while Stage 12 coverage of racers returning to Jeddah will debut on Friday at 6PM ET/3PM PT.
2021 Dakar Rally Stage 10 Winners
- Motorcycle: Ricky Brabec, 3:12:33
- Quad: Italo Pedemonte, 4:19:07
- Car: Yazeed Al Rajhi, 3:03:57
- Lightweight Prototype: Kris Meeke, 3:34:41
- SSV: Sergei Kariakin, 3:31:17
- Truck: Martin Macik, 3:13:02
- Classic: Lilian Harichoury, 129 points
2021 Dakar Rally Overall Rankings
|1st||K. Benavides||M. Andujar||S. Peterhansel||F. Lopez Contardo||D. Sotnikov|
|2nd||R. Brabec||A. Giroud||N. Al-Attiyah||A. Jones||A. Shibalov|
|3rd||S. Sunderland||G. Enrico||C. Sainz||A. Domzala||A. Mardeev|
|4th||J. Barreda Bort||P. Copetti||J. Przygonski||M. Goczal||A. Loprais|
|5th||S. Howes||I. Pedemonte||N. Roma||R. Varela||M. Macik|