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Al Attiyah, a five-star champion

Al Attiyah, a five-star champion

If there is something that stands out in the immensity of the desert when the Sun goes down, it is everything that is observed in the sky. The stars adorn nothing and despite the difficulty involved in getting one of those, Al Attiyah has already put his name to a fifth that arrives in the form of a Touareg. The Qatari has returned to reign in the desert. Next to Toyota He has shone like another star and after the victories he sealed in 2011, 2015, 2019 and 2022, he adds one more to his record, second in a row, to shake hands with a Dakar where it is already the fourth pilot in history with the most conquests in its history.

Nasser equals a legend with Marc Coma to stay at the gates of a podium dominated by Peterhansel (14), Chagin (7) and Loprais (6). The club is becoming more select and Al Attiyah is a champion who once again allyes himself with luck to take advantage of his potential. “I am the best”, he has said openly throughout his participation in this 45th edition of a rally that has been the longest in a long time… although not for the Toyota driver. On day six of the competition the game was over and although saying that in the Dakar with eight stages to go may seem pretentious, the Qatari knew how to strike it down.

Al Attiyah’s initial prediction pointed to Loeb as a threat. The Frenchman finished second, but at no time did he pose a real risk to a masterful Hilux which also taught how to survive a desert that severely punished Audi. The brand with the four rings was the real danger for Nasser and his team. They came out to win with a lot of humility, but the Dakar took a double toll on two riders like Sainz and Peterhansel, who gave up the fight when they still had something to say. But from then on, there was silence.

Al Attiyah once again erred on the side of being conservative, but he did not need to show the team much more either, although he did indirectly to the race. The Qatari taught the way in which an insurmountable advantage is managed (he came to lead with more than an hour and a half advantage) and how to avoid falling into a state of extreme relaxation that could lead to the impossible. But she once again shows that she knows well how things work in the desert and that is what has led her to be another star in his firmament.

In what has been the toughest edition in Saudi Arabia without a doubt and perhaps of this century in the Dakar, Nasser has known how to suffer. Also in a last stage where he did not even win, he finished seventh, as did a Loeb who is left with honey on his lips. Just like Audi. The victory went to Chicherit thanks to a minute and a half ahead of the German Ekstrom prototype at a finish where it was clear that it was the day for Al Attiyah and his Toyota. Well, Loeb’s record as the driver with the most victories in a stage that ties him with Sainz (7) will have to wait to be surpassed, as will a long-awaited Touareg that will remain in the same showcases for at least one more year. The thing about Nasser and the Dakar, it’s the same old story again.

stage classification

General ranking

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