This marked a 25th stage victory Barreda, who holds the place as the rider with the fourth highest number of wins in Dakar history. Barreda is the new overall leader of the 2021 Dakar.
The Dakar, once again, produced a day of many reshuffles in the order compared to yesterday’s stage. The riders who finished behind in yesterday’s stage were expected to pounce in an effort to claw back time, which is precisely what they did, on track conditions which proved very conducive to gaining lost time.
Riders made a start from Bisha in cool temperatures before heading out onto the 135-kilometre liaison section which led to the starting point of the special stage. At the start of the 457-kilometre special, competitors faced low dunes and fast, open track, with the advantage always favouring the pursuers, proving to be a great handicap for the front-runners eager to fend them off.
Later on, the stage hit level two and three type dunes, before ending on narrow stony areas and dried-out river beds. Finally – some 96 kilometres of link stage later – the riders found themselves back at the Wadi Al-Dawasir bivouac, which will be home-base for the coming two days.
Barreda was the man to beat, claiming victory in the stage and clinching the overall race leadership. But these two feats weren’t the only thing he was celebrating. With today’s race, the Monster Energy Honda Team rider from Castellón takes his Dakar Rally stage victory tally to 25, the fourth best rider in the Dakar role of honour. Joan held a six-and-a-half minute margin over the day’s runner-up, team-mate Brabec.
The American got off to a strong start – as did Barreda – and was able to make up for the time dropped yesterday. Brabec accomplished his mission and now lies in second place overall, although he is well-aware that the Dakar has barely begun and a lot is in store before the great challenge finally draws to a conclusion.
Tomorrow sees the first looping stage of this Dakar 2021, held between Wadi Al-Dawasir – Wadi Al-Dawasir, with 403 kilometres against the clock, plus a 226 km liaison section, making up a total stage of 629 kilometres for the one hundred or so riders taking part.
“It was a very good stage,” said Barreda. “We were forced to attack from the very first kilometre until the end and the truth is that it went well. But this is only the second stage of the Dakar and we know that tomorrow it will be difficult starting from the front once again. You have to stay calm, try not to make any mistakes and take it stage by stage.”
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Results Stage 2
|1||Barreda Joan||SPA||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||04:17’56|
|2||Brabec Ricky||USA||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+00:03’55|
|3||Quintanilla Pablo||CHI||Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing||Husqvarna||+00:06’02|
|4||Evan Branch Ross||BWA||Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team||Yamaha||+00:11’54|
|5||Cornejo José Ignacio||CHI||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+00:12’06|
|6||Van Beveren Adrien||FRA||Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team||Yamaha||+00:12’42|
|7||Svitko Stefan||SLO||Slovnaft Team||KTM||+00:14’15|
|8||Benavides Luciano||ARG||Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing||Husqvarna||+00:15’21|
|9||Sanders Daniel||AUS||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+00:16’31|
|10||de Soultrait Xavier||FRA||HT Husqvarna Rally Team||Husqvarna||+00:17’24|
|24||Benavides Kevin||ARG||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+00:28’58|
Provisional Standings after Stage 2
|1||Barreda Joan||SPA||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||08:15’38|
|2||Brabec Ricky||USA||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+00:06’23|
|3||Evan Branch Ross||BWA||Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team||Yamaha||+00:06’37|
|4||Quintanilla Pablo||CHI||Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing||Husqvarna||+00:07’16|
|5||de Soultrait Xavier||FRA||HT Husqvarna Rally Team||Husqvarna||+00:08’25|
|6||Van Beveren Adrien||FRA||Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team||Yamaha||+00:08’34|
|7||Benavides Luciano||ARG||Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing||Husqvarna||+00:09’07|
|8||Howes Skyler||USA||BAS DAKAR KTM RACING TEAM||KTM||+00:09’31|
|9||Svitko Stefan||SLO||Slovnaft Team||KTM||+00:10’23|
|10||Santolino Lorenzo||SPA||Sherco TVS Rally Factory||Sherco||+00:10’51|
|11||Cornejo José Ignacio||CHI||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+00:12’02|
|13||Benavides Kevin||ARG||Monster Energy Honda Team||Honda||+00:15’04|