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The 11th stage of Dakar 2022 saw KTM rider Kevin Benavides claim victory in the bikes category while Carlos Sainz won once again with his electric Audi challenger. The penultimate day of Dakar 2022 saw riders and drivers tackle a loop of sand dunes around the town of Bisha.
The 11th stage of Dakar 2022 saw defending champion Kevin Benavides, who was forced to retire yesterday, claim victory with an overall time of 3 hours, 30 minutes and 56 seconds. Benavides edged out overall leader Sam Sunderland by a mere 4 seconds.
Hero's Joaquim Rodrigues also blitzed the loop across the sands of Saudi Arabia, finishing the stage just 2 minutes and 26 seconds behind Benavides.
TVS Sherco's Lorenzo Santolino was the next rider on Indian metal to be classified with the Spaniard finishing 18th overall, 1 place and 5 seconds ahead of teammate Harith Noah. Indian rider Noah, who was unable to start yesterday, put in a brilliant ride today to finish the stage in 3 hours, 54 seconds and 34 seconds, 23 minutes and 38 seconds behind the leader.
Hero's Aaron Mare finished the stage in the 25th while TVS Sherco rider Rui Goncalves ended up 30th overall.
In the overall standings, Briton Sam Sunderland once again finds himself atop the standings after the penultimate stage of the Dakar rally. Sunderland leads Honda's Pablo Quintanilla by six minutes and 52 seconds. Austrian KTM rider Matthias Walkner sits in the final podium spot, 23 seconds behind Quintanilla.
In the cars category, Carlos Sainz led another double podium for Audi's electric RS e-tron racer. Sainz finished the 36-kilometre stage in 3 hours, 29 seconds and 32 seconds. Sainz beat Overdrive Toyota's Lucio Alvarez by 3 minutes and 10 seconds. Finishing in third spot, 44 seconds behind Alvarez was the second Audi of Mattias Ekstrom.
Overall leader Nasser Al-Attiyah finished the stage in the 7th spot, 39 seconds ahead of rival Sebastian Loeb. Loeb had initially finished the stage in 2nd overall but was later hit with a 5 minute time penalty for speeding in a restricted speed zone.
Nasser Al-Attiyah now leads Loeb by 33 minutes and 19 seconds and with just the short drive to Jeddah left, the Qatari driver is now all but assured a fourth Dakar title. In the third spot is Saudi driver Yazeed Al Rajhi, who now sits more than half an hour behind Loeb.
Thoughts On Dakar 2022: Stage 11
The penultimate stage of Dakar 2022 saw the lead in the bikes category once again switch back to GasGas rider Sam Sunderland. Yesterday's leader, Sunderland's brother-in-law Van Beveren was among the starters who lost a whole chunk of time due to navigational errors.
In the cars category, Nasser Al-Attiyah's safe approach to the penultimate stage saw him increase his nigh unassailable over rival Sebastian Loeb. Tomorrow's drive looks to be more of a victory stroll for the Qatari driver.