Stage nine of the 2021 Dakar Rally was a loop stage beginning in, and returning to, Neom, on the sandy shore of the Red Sea. After a few kilometres riding over smooth sand, the 465-kilometre special – the second longest of the entire rally - took riders inland onto sandy tracks and rocky trails that formed much of the stage’s terrain. Nearing the conclusion, accurate navigation through many technical canyons was needed in order to secure a strong result.
As the 13th rider to enter the day’s special, Adrien Van Beveren had an optimal starting position for the stage but opted to concentrate on his road book and focus on riding his own race. The strategy worked with the Frenchman quickly up to speed on the challenging terrain. Reaching each checkpoint among the leading riders, AVB placed a fine fifth overall - his best result in this year’s event and a positive boost for the Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team. Following his strong performance on stage nine, Adrien advances to 10th in the general rankings and looks forward to the final three stages.
Following many highlights for Ross Branch during the 2021 Dakar Rally - headlined by narrowly missing out on winning stage six by a slender 14 seconds – frustratingly a technical issue shortly after starting stage nine brought the Botswana native’s time in the rally to an end.
The 10th stage of the 2021 Dakar Rally opens with beautiful scenery and breath taking views of the Red Sea, before heading east and into a series of rocky canyons. Patience and accurate navigation throughout the 342-kilometre special will ensure strong stage results ahead of the penultimate day of racing.