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2024 Dakar Stage 6a: Adrien Van Beveren With The Advantage

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Photo of Adrien Van Beveren at the 2024 Dakar Rally Stage 6a
Adrien Van Beveren was at home in the fast-flowing dunes of the famed Empty Quarter, ending the opening part of the marathon stage 6 with the fastest time, Photo: Rally Zone

The new addition to the 2024 Dakar Rally, the 48 Hour Chrono, has finally gotten underway today in the gargantuan Empty Quarter dunes.

Although the previous editions have taken them into this daunting landscape, the riders have never encountered such a long stage, 626km of desert will have tested both their mental and physical stamina today and into tomorrow.

Having made their way across the route as fast they could today, once the clock got to 4pm riders headed to the nearest bivouac.

Adrien Van Beveren is now on his much favoured terrain and with a second place finish on stage five he kept Ricky Brabec, who led for much of the day, within his sights. Less than a half a minute covered them in a ding-dong battle across the dunes, before the number Frenchman took the provisional lead after 400 km.

Photo of Ricky Brabec at the 2024 Dakar Rally Stage 6a
Ricky Brabec has continued his consistent form and is in a healthy spot being the second-fastest rider to the end of part one of stage 6a. Photo: Rally Zone

Currently sitting in second, Ricky Brabec is also still in the hunt on this leg judging the dunes with perfection, whilst keeping an eye on that important fuel consumption which unfortunately caught out Pablo Quintanilla. After a great stage victory yesterday he ran out of fuel 184 km into the special test losing him over an hour and a half to the front runners. Although disappointed, the rally veteran found some fuel and rejoined the stage to try to regain as much time as he can in the overall standings and go for more stage victories after rest day.

Photo of Toby Price at the 2024 Dakar Rally Stage 6a
Toby Price pushed hard right from the start, using his skill and experience to navigate through the vast dunes of the Empty Quarter to be third fastest at the end of the first half of stage 6. Photo: Rally Zone

Taking advantage of his third-place result on Wednesday’s stage five and the reverse start to today’s special, Toby Price pushed hard right from the off, using his skill and experience to navigate through the vast dunes of the Empty Quarter. Increasing his pace as he chased down the 14 riders ahead of him, Toby moved into third place on the timesheets by kilometer 200 – a position he defended to the close of today’s racing. The Australian will now camp out in the Saudi desert with little in the way of facilities ahead of Friday’s second half of the stage.

Photo of Daniel Sanders at the 2024 Dakar Rally Stage 6a
Daniel Sanders is fifth after a long only day in the dunes. Photo: Rally Zone.

Daniel Sanders is running up front and provisionally ranked fourth-fastest as it stands. With racing to resume tomorrow, the Victorian is well-placed to complete the unique special in a strong position with just 113 kilometres to go before he reaches the stage’s finish line.

Taking advantage of his mid-pack start position, Luciano Benavides focused on his roadbook while maintaining a strong pace over the rolling dunes. Successfully tackling the complex navigation, that featured many hidden waypoints and headings, Luciano finished stage 6a provisionally in fifth place on his Husqvarna Factory Racing machine.

With no stage results until the completion of stage b the overall standings remain unchanged.

All teams will bed down for the night to re-energise after a substantial day of rallying, it’s all to play for in the morning with the culmination of this stage as the Dakar continues to throw up surprises. More to follow tomorrow when the riders will reunite with the rest of the team after this tough stage.

Photo of Luciano Benavides at the 2024 Dakar Rally Stage 6a
Luciano Benavides had a good start to stage 6a and is in fifth place going into the second half of the stage. Photo: Rally Zone

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