Joan Barreda has claimed victory on stage four of the 2021 Dakar Rally ahead of Ross Branch and Australian Rookie Danial Sanders as riders complete the longest stage.
Yesterday's stage winner Toby Price finished 22nd and dropped 14 minutes after opening the stage and making some small navigational errors. American privateer Skyler Howes dropped from to fifth in the overall standings after holding the lead at the conclusion of yesterday's stage three.
Stage four was the longest of the event at 813km, was billed as being less demanding on navigation than the previous few days. Comprising a 337km timed special, book-ended by long liaison sections, the route ultimately led competitors into Riyadh, the capital of the country. With the majority of the day consisting of fast, wide-open tracks across the desert, riders‰Ûª focus and skill were tested to the maximum, with a safe stage finish a priority.
Joan Barreda took advantage of his 30th-position start to attempt to close the gap as much as possible on his rivals. The Spanish rider set a scorching pace to claim a second triumph in this Dakar, with the rider from CastellÌ_n taking his stage-winning tally to 26. Overall, Barreda holds second place, a mere 15 seconds behind the new leader De Soultrait.
"It was another good stage. I started very far back because of my result yesterday, but that's the way it is in this Dakar, you're either at the front or far back," the Spaniard said. "We need to keep it up. I've used three tyres so far. I think the one I used today is quite worn, but I was supposed to use it for three days, so it's not great news. But we'll see what we can do in the coming days."