Another champion over 50 years old: a Dakar for grandparents

Al Attiyah wins the automotive on the age of 52 and succeeds Peterhansel and Sainz, different veteran champions. The raid now not attracts younger folks

Al Attiyah and his co-pilot, Baumel, on the celebration.Andrew EatonEFE

Stephane Peterhansel, 57 years previous. Carlos Sainz60 years previous. Nasser Al-Attiyah, 52 years previous. They’re the final three Dakar winners in automobiles with rivals of their era comparable to Sebastian Loeb48 years previous, Giniel de Villiers50 or Nani Rome, additionally 50. From its beginnings, the desert raid has all the time been a contest for veterans, an choice for individuals who wished to proceed racing after the World Rally Championship, however by no means earlier than has the phenomenon been so exaggerated. At this time is an unique problem for adults. The irruption of younger folks is a particularly distinctive reality, because the third place this 12 months of the Brazilian Lucas Moraes, 32, rookie, behind Al Attiyah and Loeb. what occurred? It is easy: the Dakar has misplaced its attraction.

If years in the past referents of rallies comparable to ari vatanen or Sainz and Loeb themselves launched into the Dakar after their withdrawal, now that doesn’t occur. the phenomenon Fernando Alonsowho was capable of rejuvenate the check, light in a 12 months. sebastien ogier, one other doable reference for the check, has not proven curiosity. And so there are a number of examples, most of them French, traditionally essentially the most devoted. The explanations can vary from the financial, with the lack of capability of the manufacturers with respect to different occasions, to the sentimental, because of the present distance from the Dakar, which now not has something to do with these editions that started in Paris and went by Madrid. , Granada or Castellón. However the development appears irreversible. For subsequent 12 months each Sainz and Peterhansel have already declared that they may proceed and Al Attiyah did the identical yesterday in his celebration.

The state of affairs in Spain

The disaster, in reality, is particularly critical in Spain, the place, with Sainz injured and Roma absent, it was essential to drop to quantity 30 within the normal classification to discover a consultant: it was Cristina Gutierrez, 31 years previous, the one novelty in current instances. Proper behind them ended Carlos Checa50 years previous, Gerard Farrs43, and Isidre Esteveadditionally 50, to substantiate the ageing of the Dakar poster.

For the long run, the attraction of the final version, which was duller than ever, won’t assist both. With the accidents of Sainz and Peterhansel within the sixth stage, Al Attiyah received the check de facto with the one obligation to endure one other week with out errors. He did it regardless of the risk posed by the Empty Quarter, the huge Arabian desert, the place Loeb had chained as much as six stage victories. The one emotion was within the motorbike classification, the place the Argentine kevin benavides I beat the Australian Toby Value within the final stage and with solely 43 seconds of benefit. The day before today he had stopped to assist a teammate and, regardless of this, in the long run he took his second victory.