Joan Barreda claimed line honors on stage six of the 2021 Dakar Rally as Toby Price has put in another strong performance with seventh fastest to take the provisional overall lead going into Saturday‰Ûªs rest day.
Ross Branch was second across the line today with rally rookie Daniel Sanders claimed his second top-three result of the event in third. Defending champion Ricky Brabec had a better day with a fourth placing ahead of Sam Sunderland in fifth.
Due to the difficulties encountered in finishing stage 5 by a significant number of competitors, the decision was taken to delay the departure of the riders and crews from the bivouac in Al Qaisumah by 1 hour 30 minutes.
Following Thursday‰Ûªs exhausting stage five, riders were hoping for an easier time on the final special before the rest day. Unfortunately, this wasn‰Ûªt the case. Despite being shortened to 347km from the original length of 448km, stage six truly tested all competitors‰Ûª navigation skills and stamina by delivering a tough day made up of sandy, twisting tracks, before opening out into a mixture of both hard dirt trails and soft dunes.
Spaniard Joan Barreda'a victory was his third stage win of the week and the 27th of his career. He now occupies 7th position, 6 minutes behind Toby Price in the general standings.
‰ÛÏI won! I was trying after refuelling to keep the pace down, but finally I won by a few seconds. With a race like this, I don‰Ûªt know if it‰Ûªs a good strategy," Barreda said of his win.
"But it‰Ûªs like this‰Û_ Now we have one day for resting and we will try to recover as much as possible for next week. It was such a difficult few days with lots of navigation. It‰Ûªs something new for me with this kind of navigation. With already a lot of years' experience on the rally, I‰Ûªve seen a fair bit of navigation before, but this is completely different to what I know.
"Now we have a better feeling with it and I will try to do better for the next week. Yesterday and before yesterday, we had to use one tyre for the second day, worn almost half way down but it was good. Now we still have three more tyres we can use for next week. I'm happy and I'm really proud of how this week went. It has been a strategic race for the first week, and I haven't had the best way. Sometimes it's difficult because you are in one position and you can't do so much, but it's like this. We still have a lot of kilometres left in front of us. We‰Ûªll try to keep safe next week and do a good job. I‰Ûªm really happy because up to now I‰Ûªve kept safe with the bike, had no crashes and I‰Ûªm feeling really strong, so I‰Ûªll try to carry on next week like this‰Û