The Briton Sam Sunderland (KTM) won the 11th and penultimate stage of the Dakar 2021 on Thursday and had a good operation in the general classification of the motorcycle category, which remains tight on the eve of the arrival in Jeddah.
The 12th and last stage of this 43rd edition on Friday will be decisive in determining the final winner: in the general classification, the Argentinian Kevin Benavides remains leader, but is only 4 min 12 seconds ahead of Sunderland, while the American Ricky Brabec (Honda), winner of the event in 2020, fell to 3rd place, 7 min 13 sec from Benavides.
Sunderland completed the 470 km long stage in 4 h 35 min 12 sec. The 31-year-old driver, whose 8th participation in the Dakar, has taken advantage of the misadventures of the Honda drivers.
Spain’s Joan Barreda Bort, 4th in the general classification at the start of the stage, retired after running out of gas at km 267 and Brabec got lost, leaving Sunderland to hoist his Austrian motorcycle to first place in the special between Al Ula and Yanbu.
The Chilean Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) crossed the finish line in 2nd position, 2 min 40 sec behind Sunderland, and the Argentinian Kevin Benavides (Honda), 3rd at 6 min 24 sec.