Local rider, Ross Branch who is having a rollercoaster campaign in the 2020 Dakar Rally, moved back into the top 20 overall, after finishing yesterday’s Stage 7 in position 16.
Branch, making his second appearance in what is considered the world’s most gruelling off-road race, was off to a stunning start in this year’s edition.
He won the second stage, and looked a safe bet to stretch the favourites right up to the finish line of the 10-stage rally.
He is now 16th overall after he managed to complete yesterday’s stage. Branch has suffered misfortune since his brilliant win on the second day of the competition, which is being held in Saudi Arabia, for the first time in history.
First he suffered a crash on the third day, which left him with a sore shoulder. On stage six, Branch finished 67th after he suffered a puncture. This saw his overall standings plummet to 27th, ahead of Saturday’s rest day. Yesterday, Branch partly redeemed himself, but now the focus is not on the title, as the rider looks to improve on last year’s 13th finish.
Yesterday, Honda rider Joan Barreda picked up his first stage win of the Dakar Rally but American, Ricky Brabec has maintained a comfortable overall lead.
Toby Price, who had been third overall at the rest day, lost over an hour and 20 minutes as of the 321km mark and fell to 11th in the overall rankings as a result.