Reigning champ Benavides retires from Dakar 2022

Stage 10 of Dakar 2022 and the list of retirees grows larger with many of the riders carrying injuries too.

KTM rider and last year’s winner, then on the Honda, Kevin Benavides is now out of the race after being forced to pull out due to mechanical failure at marker 134km from Wadi Ad Dawasir to Bisha on this mammoth ride totalling 759km with the special stage being 375km.

Matthias Walkner also on the KTM lost ground today and exits the overall podium positions after another tortuous day on the stage and finishing 15:55min off the lead rider.

Brit and Gas Gas rider Sam Sunderland also lost some ground on the stage coming in 18th and being 11:18min off the pace too however this hasn’t been too harmful to his overall position as yet.

However it was another great ride from Australian former winner and KTM rider Toby Price too. Finsihing in top slot some 2:09min ahead of Husqvarna rider; Lucian Benavides. Barreda Bort and Van Beveren put in a fine shift in 3rd and 4th only 3:21 & 3:35min behind the lead respectively.

Yamaha Andrew Short came in 5th at 6:29min behind and being joined with the same time with Svitko in 6th position

Polish rider Giemza was 7th at 6:44min behind Price, whilst Sherco’s Goncalves came in 8th at 6:49 and bringing up the tail 9th spot was Honda rider Quintanilla at 7:05mins off the pace and Martin Michek once again having a great ride in 10th only n7:28min behind the lead.

So overall it’s still very congested and still very much up for grabs. Van Beveren now leads, Quintanilla 2nd some 4:15 behind and Sam Sunderland in 3rd now 5:59min drift. But watch out for Barreda Bort on the Honda and still nursing a shoulder injury from an earlier stage which could have forced him out of the race entirely, who now sits 4th overall some 6:47mins behind.

It’s anyone’s race now going into stage 11 tomorrow. The orbital special Bisha to Bisha. The winner could just be the strongest in the war of attrition and not necessarily the fastest stage rider.

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