2021 Dakar Stage 11 was the penultimate competitive leg of the 43rd edition of the famous off-road race. Today’s route from Al-Ula to Yanbu was supposed to include a 511 km timed section but that was shortened to 460 km ahead of the stage start. Read our stage ten report at this link

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When racing resumed this morning it was the usual suspects congregating at the top of the timesheets. Race leader Stephane Peterhansel (Mini) led early in the stage from his nearest rival Nasser Al-Attiyah (Toyota). Defending champion Carlos Sainz (Mini) briefly led by setting a quick pace early on. Sainz and Al-Attiyah lost time to the overall race leader Peterhansel around the halfway mark. The Frenchman didn’t ease off and kept pushing to open up an advantage on his pursuers.

The pendulum swung between the top crews as they dealt with dunes, rocky sections and fast sandy tracks towards the end of the 460 km special. Local drivers Sheikh Khalid Al-Qassimi (Peugeot) and previous stage winner Yazeed Al-Rajhi (Toyota) both had a good showing today, with the former leading the timesheets towards later in the day. When the top crews crossed the line it was Al-Attiyah who took the honours as the stage winner ahead of Peterhansel with Sainz in third. Al-Rajhi was fourth ahead of South African Giniel de Villiers. This was Al-Attiyah’s sixth stage win of the 2021 race.

Try as he may, Al-Attiyah could not make a serious dent in Peterhansel’s overall lead of the race. The Qatari took two minutes out of his French rival. Peterhansel starts the final day with a 15 min cushion, but he’ll have to be quick and cautious to maintain his lead if he plans to win overall as Al-Attiyah is bound give it his all on the final day.

General classification after 2021 Dakar Stage 11

  1. Stephane Peterhansel Mini 37 hours 33 min 06 sec
  2. Nasser Al-Attiyah Toyota +15 min 05 sec
  3. Carlos Sainz Mini +1 hour 04 min 14 sec
  4. Jakub Przygonski Toyota +2 hour 32 min 24 sec
  5. Nani Roma BRX +3 hours 15 min 54 sec
  6. Sheik Khalid Al Qassimi Peugeot +3 hours 25 min 48 sec
  7. Vladimir Vasilyev Mini +3 hours 26 min 58 sec
  8. Giniel de Villier Toyota+3 hours 55 min 02 sec
  9. Martin Prokop Ford +3 hours 59 min 23 sec
  10. Benediktas Vanagas Toyota+4 hours 58 min 37 sec