Daniel Sanders maintains econd overall with one stage left
Daniel Sanders had the challenge of opening stage four of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, after his stage three victory.
Losing minimal time to the chasing pack, Sanders was caught by Walkner at the 100 km mark, but a consistent ride ensured no mistakes to finish fourth on stage, behind Van Beveren, Walkner and Rodrigues.
Sanders now sits four-minutes off leader Walkner, but holds a 1m39 lead over third places Adrien Van Beveren and is ideally placed for the final.
Daniel Sanders – P4 (Second Overall)
“Day four and I got to open today, which was really cool! Walkner caught me at about 100 kilometres, just before the refueling, but I was happy with how things went for the time I was out front. I didn’t make any big mistakes and the pace was good, so that’s really encouraging. The second half of the stage opened out into some faster tracks, which I really enjoyed, so that was cool. All-in-all it was a really good day. I’m in a good position to push again tomorrow and hopefully I can finish off the rally with a top result.”
Returning to the form that brought him so much success in the past, Adrien Van Beveren has claimed another stage win at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge aboard his Yamaha WR450F Rally.
Demonstrating excellent navigation, and confident to push hard throughout the mixed terrain stage, the 30-year-old sustained his high pace to secure victory and maintain his third-place ranking in the overall provisional classification.
Adrien Van Beveren – P1
“Today was another good day for me. I pushed really hard early on before the refuelling station as it was really heavy sand dunes so I was able to follow some lines and maintain a high pace. After refuelling the terrain was a lot less challenging and quite fast and with everyone riding at a similar speed, it wasn’t possible to make up more time. One more day to go and I’ll be fighting right to the end.”
Despite opening much of the special, Walkner was able to deliver a performance strong enough to ultimately finish less than one minute behind the eventual stage winner.
The world champion’s speed and consistency throughout the rally have resulted in him increasing his advantage at the close of day four, with just the fifth and final stage remaining.
Matthias Walkner – P2
“Another really cool, enjoyable day. I pushed right from the start and was able to catch Daniel by around kilometre 100, and from there, the two of us rode together, swapping the lead for the rest of the stage. It seemed to work out well as I was able to put in a good time, despite opening a lot of the stage from the front. I have a good lead and a good start position for stage five, but there is still work to do. I’ll head out and try to enjoy it tomorrow, hopefully put in a good result and secure the win. I’m definitely looking forward to reaching the finish!”
Stage 4 Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge 2021
Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 3:10:02
Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, 3:10:56 +54 seconds
Joaquim Rodrigues (POR), Hero, 3:13:00 +2:58
Daniel Sanders (AUS), GASGAS, 3:13:48 +3:46
Aaron Mare (RSA), KTM, 3:21:30 +11:28
Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge 2021 after 4 of 5 stages
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