82 MARTIN GARCIA Albert (spa), Pedrega Team, Husqvarna, Moto, Originals by Motul, action during the Stage 10 of the Dakar 2024 on January 17, 2024 around Al Ula, Saudi Arabia

Fresh memories never lie. Seeing the loop carved out near AlUla, starting and finishing at the bivouac
where everyone had gathered less than two weeks ago, it was a given that this special was going to be
a wild ride. The timed sector stretched for 371 kilometres on sandy terrain with a need for speed, either
on the track or off-track, sometimes through rocky areas, but almost invariably with nuances to decipher
in the road book. The showdown among the leading competitors was shaped by tricky navigation in the
motorbike race and, to some extent, the risk of punctures in the car race. Ricky Brabec took a step
closer to a second title, while Guerlain Chicherit and his Hilux managed to weave through the pack
much faster than all his rivals in the stage. The battle between Carlos Sainz and Sébastien Loeb rages

603 VAN DEN BRINK Mitchel (nld), VAN DE POL Jarno (spa), TORRALLARDONA Moises (spa), Eurol Rallysport, Iveco 4×4 DRNL, FIA Truck, action during the Stage 10 of the Dakar 2024 on January 17, 2024 around Al Ula, Saudi Arabia

Yesterday, they were rivals. Today, they are brothers in arms. Such has been the dynamic shift in the
relationship between Ricky Brabec and Adrien Van Beveren, swinging in favour of the former and
potentially catapulting the latter up the ranks in the two stages between here and the final podium in
Yanbu. Tasked with opening the road, it seemed unlikely for the Frenchman to take a quantum leap in
the standings. However, from the refuelling station onward, he reunited with his Honda teammate. A
strategic alliance seemed not just possible, but almost preordained. One half of the partnership, Ricky
Brabec, secured his first stage win of the year, the tenth in his career, pushing his lead over Ross
Branch to 10 minutes. The other half, Van Beveren, managed to bring his deficit to the Botswanan
under the 1-minute mark. Monster Energy Honda’s teamwork could pave the way for a red 1-2. For
now, we saw a Honda hat-trick for the second consecutive day, overshadowing the competition. Once
again, Nacho Cornejo’s spot-on navigation played a crucial role, securing the runner-up’s spot just 2
seconds behind! The battle is far from over in the Rally 2 class, where Harith Noah emerged as a
serious threat to Romain Dumontier after clocking the fifth-fastest time in the special (see “Performance
of the day”).
Once upon a time, not so long ago, Carlos Sainz and Sébastien Loeb were teammates too, with the
Spaniard adding the finishing touch to Peugeot’s victorious streak in 2018. Those days are gone and,
as the 2024 edition nears its end, all that remains is a polite yet fierce rivalry. Today was all about
avoiding punctures. Carlos Sainz had a stroke of misfortune, finding himself without a spare wheel after
getting not one, but two flat tyres. His title prospects would have been dead and buried had Mattias
Ekström not come to his rescue, although the whole incident cost him seven or minutes. This was
almost exactly the time that he ended up losing to Sébastien Loeb, who also ended up frustrated after
it took him fifteen minutes to change his two tyres due to a broken hydraulic jack. 13 minutes separate
the top contenders with two stages to go. Guerlain Chicherit did not emerge unscathed from the rockstrewn terrain either, but he still managed to set the fastest time in the special. Brian Baragwanath in
his CR7 and Benediktas Vanagas in his Hilux escorted him on the stage podium. The man from Savoy
is now fifth overall.
In the Challenger class, Mitch Guthrie and his closest pursuer, Cristina Gutiérrez, 28 minutes down,
took a cautious approach and gave the Brazilian Marcelo Gastaldi a clear run to his maiden stage win.
Sara Price also opened her account (see “Stat of the day”), taking the SSV special on the same day
that her partner, the leader of the motorbike category, also triumphed in the Dakar. In the truck race,
Gert Huzink picked up his second stage on the trot, while Martin Macík tightened his vice grip on the
overall, where he has a 2 h 06 margin over his compatriot Aleš Loprais.

237 CORONEL Tim (mld), CORONEL Tom (nld), Coronel Dakar Team, Century CR6, FIA Ultimate, action during the Stage 10 of the Dakar 2024 on January 17, 2024 around Al Ula, Saudi Arabia

A Rally 2 rider cracked the top 5 in a stage of the Dakar for the second time this year. Bradley Cox
(BAS World KTM Racing) had already taken fourth place in stage 1. Today, it was the Sherco factory
rider Harith Noah who came in fifth. It was a career-best performance for the Indian, who is racing in
his fifth Dakar and has only managed to complete the rally once. Back in 2021, he became the second
Indian —after CS Santosh in 2015— to finish the race, which he did in twentieth place. Noah returned
to competition in the Baja Aragón after hurting his back last January. He is now second overall in his
class, just 4′31″ behind Romain Dumontier. The inclusion of a rider from Bharat in the line-up of the
French brand Sherco can be traced back to their rally-raid partnership with the Indian maker TVS. India,
represented by Harith and the constructor Hero, is making its mark on the Dakar scene. None of its
entrants had ever finished so high up in a stage of the Dakar before.

202 PETERHANSEL Stéphane (fra), BOULANGER Edouard (fra), Team Audi Sport, Audi RS Q E-Tron E2, FIA Ultimate, FIA W2RC, action during the Stage 10 of the Dakar 2024 on January 17, 2024 around Al Ula, Saudi Arabia

The bombshell dropped yesterday evening, but it only became official when the race officials received
a letter in the wee hours: Nasser Al Attiyah was not going to be taking the start of the special. The last
time that this has happened was stage 4 of the 2017 Dakar or, in other words, 86 specials ago. This is
Al Attiyah’s seventh premature exit in twenty Dakar starts. This time, the cause was a succession of
mechanicals that bedevilled his Hunter for two days in a row. While a stage win earlier in the race means
he is not going home empty-handed, which he has not done since 2007, he did let down the Prodrive
squad, where he could have been an invaluable helper to Sébastien Loeb in the coming two stages,
especially in the event of punctures.

BENAVIDES LUCIANO (arg), Husqvarna Factory Racing, Husqvarna, Moto, portrait during the Stage 10 of the Dakar 2024 on January 17, 2024 around Al Ula, Saudi Arabia

3. The SSV driver Sara Price had repeatedly come tantalisingly close to victory since the start of the
46th Dakar. Today, the South Racing Can-Am ace squeaked home with just two seconds to spare over
Jérôme de Sadeleer to claim her first stage win, joining Cristina Gutiérrez (T3) and Jutta
Kleinschmidt (cars) in the extremely select club of women who have prevailed in Dakar stages. The
German even went on to win the race outright in 2001. The Californian’s triumph comes sixteen years
after Kleinschmidt’s last win in the car race in 2005 and three years after Gutiérrez’s hat-trick in the
lightweight prototype class in 2021. Sara Price landed her first victory in SSV and is probably eyeing a
second one in the Challenger class in the near future, before following in the footsteps of her
predecessors and scoring a three-peat.

203 LOEB Sébastien (fra), LURQUIN Fabian (bel), Bahrain Raid Xtreme, Prodrive Hunter, FIA Ultimate, action during the Stage 10 of the Dakar 2024 on January 17, 2024 around Al Ula, Saudi Arabia

Guerlain Chicherit: “I’m a bit surprised we won today”
The winner of the stage, Guerlain Chicherit, is back in the top 5 overall and has still got room for
improvement. “I thought it was going to be really hard for us because we started with a puncture [at] the
beginning. After that, I slowed down. I tried to avoid other punctures. We caught some other cars. The
dust made it really difficult, especially because our Push button was not working well. We finished the
last 150 k behind other cars. Impossible to pass them or too risky. I’m a bit surprised we won today, but
it’s always good to take the win.”

700 MORERA Juan (spa), RUBA Lidia (spa), Team SSP, Porsche, Dakar Classic, action during the Stage 10 of the Dakar Classic 2024 on January 17, 2024 around Al Ula, Saudi Arabia

The apple never falls far from the tree, as they say. Lorenzo Traglio is the latest scion of the Tecnosport
dynasty, an Italian tuner that has been part of the Dakar landscape since the 1990s, back when it was
run by Maurizio, il padre. Behind the wheel of a Pathfinder in period-appropriate livery, Lorenzo was
one of the movers and shakers of the beginning of the fourth Dakar Classic before a mechanical sent
him careening down the ranking. Fast forward to two days before the finish and Traglio is back within 2
points of the leader, the Spaniard Carlos Santaolalla, with a real shot at gifting his father Tecnosport’s
first Dakar victory.

739 ALBERO PUIG Daniel (spa), SERRA Roca Jose Luis (spa), Team Un Diabetic en el Dakar, Toyota, Dakar Classic, action during the Stage 10 of the Dakar Classic 2024 on January 17, 2024 around Al Ula, Saudi Arabia

Sara Price and Ricky Brabec California Dreamin’
The Californians Ricky Brabec (motorbikes) and Sara Price (SSVs) emerged victorious from the
specials in their categories and are both perched at the summit of their respective W2RC rankings with
two stages to go until the end of the first round of the season. The woman who back in 2010 became
the first motocross factory rider in the prestigious Monster Energy Kawasaki team and went on to enter
the 2013 Miss California pageant and win the 2019 Baja 1000 has other things in common with the 2020
Dakar champion. In fact, they are a couple. Sara, who has just begun her first whole season after giving
the 2023 Sonora Rally and Rallye du Maroc a try, put her name on the map last week when she topped
the W2RC ranking in stage 1. It looks like we have contenders for the W2RC Couple of the Year

212 SERRADORI Mathieu (fra), MINAUDIER Loic (fra), SRT, Century CR6-T, FIA Ultimate, FIA W2RC, action during the Stage 10 of the Dakar 2024 on January 17, 2024 around Al Ula, Saudi Arabia