We arrive at stage 10 of the Dakar 2023 with Skyler Howes in the lead, ahead of Toby Price by only 00′ 03″ and more detached Kevin Benavides at 05′ 09″. A day, that of yesterday, characterized by the rJoan “BangBang” Barreda’s round, L2 lumbar vertebra fracture confirmed for him and rally finished. A “curious” event, not so much for the pilots involved, it is the (literal) clash between Van Beveren and Mason Klein, right in the middle of the dunes. The young American hit the Frenchman who was closely following after losing his second road book of the day. “The two are lucky to get away with just a few blows” said Daniel Sanders at the end of the stage, a witness to the incident.
But let’s get back to today’s stage: a relatively short day, 640 km with “only” 114 special stages timed. “A tappa not to be taken lightly, according to my experience it is the shorter ones that are the toughest“, these are the words of Franco Picco last night at the bivouac. The path enters the Empty Quarter, the desert of sand which includes most of the Arabian Peninsula. He seems to have taken a liking to the leading positions Ross Branch, who after having navigation problems in yesterday’s stage, takes home his second stage victory. Behind him, second, we find Adrien Van Beneveren who closes at just 21″. Excellent performance that allows him to reduce his gap in the general standings about 5′ and bring it to just under 10′. The South African rookie Michael Docherty closes the podium of the day +03″ from the lead. A sore Matthias Walkner closes the top 5 behind his teammate Kevin Benavides. The Howes/Price duo struggles and loses the precious advantage accumulated.
In general standings we have a new leader: Kevin Benavideswho made no mistake in today’s stage and took the lead with a lead of 01’29” on Howes and 02’10” on Price.
On the following pages you will find how the blues fared in the race, the complete classification of the stage, the general classification of the Dakar 2023some info on the next stages and how to follow the race on TV.