Sanz comes to aid of unconscious Renet: "It was the right thing to do"

Factory KTM rider Laia Sanz stopped to come to the aid of fellow Dakar Rally competitor Pela Renet during Wednesday's fourth stage, after the Frenchman lost consciousness in a fall.

Dakar rookie Renet suffered a heavy crash 27km away from the finish of the 429km test, and was subsequently taken to hospital in nearby Jujuy with a head injury, having regained consciousness after a few minutes.

Sanz, who had been passed by the Husqvarna rider during the stage, stopped to come to Renet's aid before medical crews were able to arrive on the scene.

"He passed me on the special and then I followed him - I was at kilometre 402 when it happened," Sanz told upon arrival at the Jujuy bivouac.

"At first, when I found Renet, I was scared because he was unconscious. He had some pain on his hip and his back, but he was more or less fine.

"Helping someone is what any rider should do, that's normal and it was important. Though I lost time it was the right thing to do."

The result of her good deed was that Sanz was classified 53rd on the stage, 42 minutes down on Paulo Goncalves' benchmark time, dropping her from from 21st to 38th overall.

She had been on course to gain ground, running 14th at the ninth waypoint, and now she must wait to see how much time rally organisers award her for her selfless act. 

"In that sense, the organisation works well and gives riders back the time they lose when you stop to help someone," Sanz said.

"It has been a very good day for me, although now I have to wait for the time to be returned. Even before that, we were in the top 15, but nobody likes that these things happen and it was important to help."

"So far, navigation has not been necessary, and that is reflected in the high number of competitors remaining in the race," she added, looking forward to the harsher terrain of the rally's second week.

Interview by Luis Ramirez

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About this article
Series Dakar
Event Dakar 2016
Sub-event Stage 4: Jujuy - Jujuy
Drivers Laia Sanz , Pela Renet
Article type Interview
Tags bike