2020 Dakar Stage 12 was the final leg of this year’s event. The special from Haradh to Qiddiya was shortened to 167 km as a result of construction work taking place at an oil facility near the course.
Leaving it late
With such a short stage it was difficult for the competitors to really make a significant dent into their rivals’ leads. When all the front runners were at the end of the timed section and timesheets were handed in, it was Nasser Al-Attiyah who won. The Qatari took his only first stage win on the very last day of the 2020 Dakar. Local driver Yasir Seaidan put in a solid performance to finish second just 1 min 32 sec behind. Argentine Orlando Terranova rounded off the top three.
Fernando Alonso finished an impressive 4th place. The Spaniard set a fast pace early on and could have taken the stage win. His teammate, South African Giniel de Villiers was seventh.
All attention, however, was on Carlos Sainz at the finish line as the Spaniard claimed this third Dakar victory. Each of his wins has come behind the wheel of a different car: a VW in 2010, a Peugeot in 2018 and a Mini in 2020. The Spaniard, who claimed four stage wins beat Nasser Al-Attiyah by 6 minutes after 5 000 km of racing. Al-Attiyah cemented second place overall despite a late challenge from Frenchman Stephane Peterhansel who rounded out the podium. See below for the overall standings after 2020 Dakar Stage 12.
Said the 57-year-old after the stage: “I feel very happy. There’s a lot of effort behind this. A lot of training, practice, physically, with the team… We started winning this Dakar on day one and we have gone flat out from the beginning.”
Al-Attiyah: “I’m quite happy, we did a good job to finish second even though we wanted to win. We made two or three mistakes along the way and had loads of punctures, but I’m rather happy. I’m elated that we are racing here. I’m coming back to win next year. I just needed a bit more luck.”
Honda rider Ricky Brabec put an end to 18 years of KTM dominance in the motorbike category when he became the first American to win the Dakar.
Ricky Brabec “At the end, we put the pieces to the puzzle together. We couldn’t do it without every rider in the team. I’m really happy. It’s my fifth Dakar, my second time finishing… I woke up this morning just happy to ride the last day. And we’re here. We won! We had to be smart and focused every day. There’s no top guy on the team, we all work together, we’re a family. We all won.”
- Al-Attiyah + 6 min 21 sec
- Peterhansel + 09 min 58 sec
- Al-Rajhi +49 min 10 sec
- De Villiers +1 hr 07 min 09 sec
- Terranova +1 hr 12 min 15 sec
- Ten Brinke +1 hr 18 min 34 sec
- Serradori +1 hr 59 min 21 sec
- Seaidan +3 hr 42 min 17 sec
- Han +3 hr 51 min 07 sec