Dakar Rally 2017
2017 Dakar Rally Stage 7
Brabec wins his first Dakar stage.
After an opening week where the Monster Energy Honda Team got straight down to business in the first stage of week two, climbing the overall leaderboard in the process.
Although yesterday’s re-routing of the timed sections did little to favor the Monster Energy Honda Team, today’s modified stage today’s result was all four of the team placing amid the top six finishers. The best of the day was Ricky Brabec, clinching his first Dakar stage win in just his second year of participation. A noteworthy achievement for the American who had the day’s fastest time and making up positions in the general rankings. Portuguese team-mate Paulo Gonçalves clinched the runner-up spot.
Joan Barreda, suffered a minor error that saw him take a parallel route that was tougher and more time consuming. The fourth place on the stage does, however, allow the Spaniard to move two positions up the overall rankings. Michael Metge was again showing form with sixth place on the day.
Recent heavy rain continues to wreak havoc with the Bolivian road system and subsequently the scheduled Dakar route. Not only did this force the complete cancellation of the sixth stage but it also saw the seventh stage suffer heavy modifications. The stage was, in the end, raced over half of the originally planned course with a total of 160 kilometres against the clock, rather than the 322 of the program. Part of today’s stage, between La Paz and Uyuni, featured dune-filled routes that had been scheduled for stage six together with other slippery, mud-soaked stretches.
The rally leaves Bolivia tomorrow and re-enters Argentina. The stage concludes in Salta, riders, of course, are not permitted to receive any kind of outside mechanical assistance, although they can work on the bikes themselves. Riders are camped in Uyuni and the assistance in Tupiza.