Dakar 2019, Stage 7: Sunderland fastest, Brabec leads again

Sam Sunderland bounced back from a difficult Sunday to top Stage 7 of the Dakar Rally and take second overall behind Ricky Brabec, who retook the bikes class lead.

Dakar 2019, Stage 7: Sunderland fastest, Brabec leads again

KTM rider Sunderland struggled with his rear brake in Stage 6 and was 23 minutes off the pace, but the 2017 champion dominated proceedings in the subsequent 331 timed kilometres of Monday's route, which both started and ended at San Juan de Marcona.

Honda man Brabec led in the early stages of the test - which was delayed and then suspended due to fog - but Sunderland took over at the third of six waypoints.

Chilean rider Jose Ignacio Cornejo (Honda) managed to stay close to Sunderland, finishing only 1m51s behind, but none of the title contenders were able to keep up with the Briton.

Brabec was best of the rest in third and the American reclaimed the lead from Pablo Quintanilla, the Husqvarna rider struggling throughout the day.

Yamaha's Adrien van Beveren was the last rider less than 10 minutes off the pace, followed by Luciano Benavides (KTM), Andrew Short (Husqvarna), Xavier de Soultrait (Yamaha) and Toby Price (KTM).

Price and Matthias Walkner were more or less on par with Sunderland until WP4 but then lost a big chunk of time, the duo finishing 12 and 16 behind their pace-setting teammate.

Kevin Benavides and Quintanilla were the biggest losers of the day as they surrendered 19 and 21 minutes respectively, dropping to fifth and sixth overall.

Price stepped up as Brabec's main rival with a gap of 6m55s, the Australian now closely followed by van Beveren.

Sunderland moved up to fourth while Walkner is only seventh, a single second behind Benavides.

Cavigliasso continues winning streak

Nicolas Cavigliasso took his fourth consecutive and sixth overall stage win in the quad class, and now leads by 1h15m36s.

Cavigliasso was battling for the lead with Alexandre Giroud in the first half of the stage before he pulled away, and won by 4m10s.

Giroud took second, beating the Argentinian trio of Marcos Andujar, Gustavo Gallego and Jeremias Gonzalez.

But the Frenchman, fourth overall, was only four minutes faster than them, unable to significantly change his nearly two-hour deficit to third place.

Gonzalez and Gallego continue to hold second and third overall, separated by 23 minutes.

Standings after Stage 7 (Bike class, Top 10):

Pos. Rider Bike Time/Gap
1 United States Ricky Brabec Honda 24h48m02s
2 Australia Toby Price KTM 6m55s
3 France Adrien van Beveren Yamaha 7m47s
4 United Kingdom Sam Sunderland KTM 9m58s
5 Chile Pablo Quintanilla Husqvarna 9m59s
6 Argentina Kevin Benavides Honda 16m15s
7 Austria Matthias Walkner KTM 16m16s
8 Slovakia Stefan Svitko KTM 37m09s
9 France Xavier de Soultrait Yamaha 39m08s
10 United States Andrew Short Husqvarna 39m17s
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