Dakar 2024: Good management by Laia Sanz in the middle of the marathon stage.

Dakar 2024: Good management by Laia Sanz in the middle of the marathon stage.

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  • Laia adopted an intelligent strategy to minimize damage to the car in a very rocky special stage in which they could only repair for two hours.
  • The KH-7 rider and her co-driver Maurizio Gerini met the objective they had set themselves and crossed the finish line in 31st place overall, fourth in the T1.2 category.
  • "Today we had to conserve. Of course we would have liked to race for a result, but we were smart to choose to go slower, because it was the typical trap day."
  • "There were a lot of rocks and we were very careful, but we still had to stop to change a wheel very early."

Laia Sanz has fulfilled her objectives for the third stage, in the middle of a marathon day, finishing in a comfortable 31st position overall and fourth in T1.2 (4x2) with the car intact. The KH-7 driver, who yesterday had her best car classification - she was 16th overall - adopted a smart strategy on Monday, bearing in mind that she would only have two hours of repair time with the astara Team mechanics before heading to the bivouac and leaving the car in a closed park.

The magnificent result she achieved on Sunday, and especially the sensations she transmitted at the wheel of the astara 02 Concept, which led her to ride almost the entire second stage between 10th and 12th places, invited to expect another great feat from the Catalan. Her body was asking for action, "and at times I wanted to give gas", she admits, but if one thing characterizes the 13-time Dakar finisher, it is that she knows how to manage the race like very few others.

That's why she set herself a very clear script that she followed to the letter: "Today we had to conserve. Of course we would have liked to race for a result, but knowing that we had almost no assistance, and because of the route, it would have been very counterproductive to arrive at the finish with a damaged car. We were smart to go slower, because today was a typical trap day. The goal was to finish in the top 30, so the goal was achieved. We are happy, we are still in the Top 20 overall, the team is working very well and tomorrow we will be able to attack a little more".

Even with the precautions taken, the rider from Corbera de Llobregat (Barcelona) and her co-driver Maurizio Gerini had a puncture just 40 kilometers into the stage, which today was between Al Duwadimi - Al Salamiya (Saudi Arabia), with 437 kilometers, out of a total of 732. "There were many stones and we were very careful, but even so we had to stop to change a wheel very early, and later, in one of the neutralizations, we saw that we had another one with a crack. That made us lift our foot off the accelerator even more, because there was still a lot of distance to go," he said.

In the end, Sanz and Gerini reached the finish line 27 minutes ahead of the day's winner and 22 minutes behind the leader in the two-wheel drive category. In the overall standings, they remain in 20th place overall and in second place in the 4x2 category.

This Tuesday will be the fourth stage, which, in turn, will be the final part of the marathon, between Al Salamiya and Al-Hofuf, with 631 total kilometers and 299 timed kilometers in a special stage that is expected to be quite fast, but with complicated navigation.

Stage classification:
1. Lucas Moraes (Toyota) 4h 14'51".
2. Mattias Ekström (Audi) +00'09".
3. Yazeed Al-Rajhi (Toyota) +01'09".
4. Nasser Al-Attiyah (Prodrive) +01'33".
5. Romain Dumas (Toyota) +02'01".
31 / 4 (T1.2). Laia Sanz (astara) +27'56".

Overall classification:
1. Yazeed Al-Rajhi (Toyota) 13h 07'29"
2. Carlos Sainz (Audi) +00'29" 3.
3. Mattias Ekström (Audi) +08'26".
4. Lucas Moraes (Toyota) +09'17".
5. Nasser Al-Attiyah (Prodrive) +10'49".
20 / 2 (T1.2). Laia Sanz (astara) +01h 01'01".


Automatic translation of the Spanish version available on
Source: KH-7 / Laia Sanz's official press release

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