Laia Sanz has delivered another super-consistent ride through a fast and physically tough 337-kilometer special to complete stage four of the 2021 Dakar Rally. Gaining confidence as the rally continues, with four positive days of racing onboard her GASGAS RC 450F Rally now under her belt, Laia now looks ahead to a technically demanding stage five and what may well be the toughest challenge of the rally so far.
Laia Sanz: “It was a really fast stage today, which I don’t normally like too much. But I felt ok, pretty good really. Staying safe was my priority today. I just rode my own stage and tried to do the best I could while also being safe and looking after my bike. I did make one small mistake close to the end of the stage but nothing major, so I’m happy. My bike was great, I’m really happy with the set-up we have, I just need some more stages to continue improving my feeling and confidence. Tomorrow will be a tough one again, but I’m looking forward and feeling better and better each day.”
The fast and rocky terrain of stage four required patience and skill despite the higher speeds. Laia’s cautious approach ensured that she remained out of trouble and completed the stage successfully with her GASGAS performing brilliantly. A single navigational error that caught out many riders in the final kilometers of the stage was her only error of the day, with Sanz going on to place 27th. Completing the special just under 20 minutes down on stage winner Joan Barreda is a positive step forwards and extends her gap over the next placed rider to over 30 minutes.
Another tough day lies ahead for Laia as the special for day five of the 2021 Dakar Rally is expected to be as technically demanding as it is long. The 662-kilometer stage will feature a 456-kilometer timed section that will be made up of a wide variety of terrain including stony tracks and an area of soft dunes. Accurate navigation will be essential.
Results (provisional): Dakar Rally 2021, stage 4
1. Joan Barreda (Honda) 2:46:50
2. Daniel Sanders (KTM) 2:52:59
3. Luciano Benavides (Husqvarna) 2:53:12
27. Laia Sanz (GASGAS) 3:06:38
Overall Provisional Classification (after stage 4)
1. Xavier de Soultrait (Husqvarna) 15:00:25
2. Joan Barreda (Honda) 15:00:40
3. Ross Branch (Yamaha) 15:05:49
30. Laia Sanz (GASGAS) 16:19:57