Dakar Rally bike leader 'Nacho' retires, Peterhansel set for car title

Dakar Rally bike leader 'Nacho' retires, Peterhansel set for car title
1 / 5
X-Raid Mini JCW Team's Stephane Peterhansel and Co-Driver Edouard Boulanger in action during stage 10. (Reuters)
Dakar Rally bike leader 'Nacho' retires, Peterhansel set for car title
2 / 5
Kamaz' Russian driver Andrey Nonvirgin, co-driver Andrey Mokeev and Igor Lenonov compete during the Stage 10 of the Dakar Rally 2021 between Neom and Alula in Saudi Arabia. (AFP)
Dakar Rally bike leader 'Nacho' retires, Peterhansel set for car title
3 / 5
Overdrive Toyota's Yazeed Al Rajhi and Co-Driver Dirk Von Zitzewitz in action during stage 10. (Reuters)
Dakar Rally bike leader 'Nacho' retires, Peterhansel set for car title
4 / 5
Competitors ride during the Stage 10 of the Dakar Rally 2021 between Neom and Alula in Saudi Arabia. (AFP)
Dakar Rally bike leader 'Nacho' retires, Peterhansel set for car title
5 / 5
Toyota's driver Nasser Al-Attiyah of Qatar (right) and his co-driver Mathieu Baumel of France compete during the Stage 10 of the Dakar Rally 2021 between Neom and Alula in Saudi Arabia. (AFP)
Short Url
Updated 13 January 2021

Dakar Rally bike leader 'Nacho' retires, Peterhansel set for car title

Dakar Rally bike leader 'Nacho' retires, Peterhansel set for car title
  • Drivers and riders raced through spectacular scenery from NEOM to AlUla
  • The 26-year-old Honda rider, nicknamed 'Nacho,' fell 252km into the 10th stage

ALULA, Saudi Arabia: The Dakar Rally motorbike leader Jose Ignacio Cornejo was forced to retire after a fall on Wednesday with Friday’s finish line agonizingly close as Stephane Peterhansel appeared to have all but wrapped up the car title.
The veteran Mini driver enjoys a 17-minute cushion over Qatari Nasser Al-Attiyah and a record-extending 14th Dakar crown now looks his to lose.
“Being in the lead is the best position, but it’s also where you’ve got the most to lose,” said the 55-year-old Frenchman who was first crowned champion in 1991 before luckless Cornejo was even born.

The 26-year-old Honda rider, nicknamed “Nacho,” fell 252km into the 10th stage in Saudi Arabia and although he remounted and completed the stage he agreed with the rally’s medical department to retire for fear of having suffered concussion.
The Dakar was living up to its fearsome reputation for the second time in 24 hours as the Chilean rider was airlifted to hospital where he joined Toby Price, the Australian two-time champion who requires collarbone surgery after suffering a dreadful fall on Tuesday’s ninth stage.
Dazed after landing on his head Price received immediate assistance from defending champion Ricky Brabec, who won Wednesday’s stage to sit just 50 seconds adrift of his Honda teammate, Argentine Kevin Benavides ahead of Thursday’s penultimate and decisive 11th stage.
Price posted a photo of himself from his hospital bed giving a thumbs up on Twitter alongside an update on his medical condition.
“Finally broken my 30th bone! I don’t remember much but I’ve got a pretty sore collarbone, shoulder and hand and will need surgery for that...”
He expressed disappointment at not riding into Jeddah, and thanked Brabec and British rider Sam Sunderland for coming to his rescue.
“Thank you @Sundersam and @rickyB357 for stopping to help me, I was off with the fairies that day but I heard you took good care of me!“
Thursday’s 11th stage features a 464 kilometer timed special, the longest of the rally, from Al Ula to Yanbu.
Peterhansel is approaching the stage with plenty of caution as to what the rest of the Dakar may have in store for him.
He came in third on Wednesday, finishing in runner-up Al-Attiyah’s wing mirrors with the day’s honors going to Saudi driver Yazeed Al Rahji.
“Being in the lead is the best position, but it’s also where you’ve got the most to lose,” said Mini driver Peterhansel.
“The pressure never goes away, from the moment you wake up until you go to bed.
“When you do well in a stage, you know it would be a real pity to see all that effort go down the drain!“
For Al-Attiyah, “tomorrow will decide the Dakar.”
“It’s going to be a tricky stage, but we’ll do our best. There’s no strategy, we’ll just keep driving fast,” said the three-time winner.


Man Utd get better of Liverpool in five-goal thriller

Man Utd get better of Liverpool in five-goal thriller
Updated 25 January 2021

Man Utd get better of Liverpool in five-goal thriller

Man Utd get better of Liverpool in five-goal thriller
  • The English champions lost a league game at Anfield for the first time

MANCHESTER, United Kingdom: Bruno Fernandes’s stunning free-kick inflicted more misery on Liverpool as Manchester United progressed to the fifth round of the FA Cup with a thrilling 3-2 win at Old Tafford on Sunday.

Both sides struggled to create chances in a cagey 0-0 draw when they met in the Premier League last weekend.

But there was no repeat of that caution in a wide-open contest that ended Liverpool’s hopes of a first domestic cup win under Jurgen Klopp for another season.

The English champions lost a league game at Anfield for the first time in nearly four years to Burnley on Thursday to fall six points behind United at the top of the table.

In response, Klopp named a strong side despite making five changes as Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino returned.

Liverpool’s only goals in their previous five games came against an Aston Villa youth team in the last round of the FA Cup after Dean Smith’s side were struck down by a coronavirus outbreak.

But shades of the side that stormed to a first league title in 30 years last season were restored even if Klopp’s wait for a first win at Old Trafford goes on.

Firmino and Salah combined perfectly for the opener on 18 minutes as the Brazilian’s pass opened up the United defense and the Egyptian provided a dinked finish over Dean Henderson.

United have made a habit of coming from behind to win this season and took just eight minutes to hit back.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer handed Fernandes a rare rest from the start, but still picked a side packed with firepower featuring Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood, Edinson Cavani and Paul Pogba.

Rashford’s raking cross-field pass just evaded James Milner and Greenwood did not look like a striker lacking confidence as he fired past Alisson Becker for his first goal in 11 games.

A number of injuries to center-backs have disrupted Liverpool’s season with Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez expected to miss the rest of the season, while Joel Matip has struggled to stay fit.

Klopp has been forced to field two midfielders in Jordan Henderson and Fabinho together at the heart of the defense in recent weeks and the performance of 19-year-old Rhys Williams showed why the German has been reluctant to rely on his young center-backs.

Williams failed to cut out Greenwood’s through ball for Rashford three minutes into the second half and the England international composed himself before slotting past the advancing Alisson.

This time, United’s momentum was short-lived as Milner should have levelled for Liverpool when he spooned a glorious chance over from close range, but quickly made amends by teeing up Salah to smash home his second just before the hour mark.

Both managers turned to their match winners off the bench for the final half-hour as Klopp first turned to Sadio Mane before Fernandes made his entrance.

Trent Alexander-Arnold stung the palms of Henderson, who then saved twice from Salah as Liverpool’s attack began to click back into gear.

But it was Fernandes who won the game with a brilliant free-kick 12 minutes from time.

This week will be the first anniversary of the Portuguese’s arrival from Sporting Lisbon that has transformed United’s fortunes.

A year ago, United trailed Liverpool by 30 points in the Premier League having played two games more.

The past seven days have shown they are now more than a match for their old rivals.

Fernandes’s strike was a worthy winner of a thrilling tie as he used Pogba to unsight Alisson and fired the ball low into the Brazilian’s left-hand corner.

United will face West Ham in the last 16 next month.