Van Beveren Happy with Opening Week Despite Losing Dakar Lead

Credit: Florent Gooden / DPPI

Adrien van Beveren lost the overall lead of the Dakar Rally on Thursday’s sixth stage between Arequipa in Peru and La Paz in Bolivia, but remains firmly in contention in second place.

The Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team rider finished down in tenth position and lost the lead to Monster Energy Honda Team rider Kevin Benavides as a result, but the Frenchman is only one minute and fifty-seven seconds behind the Argentine heading into Saturday’s seventh stage.

Van Beveren admitted it was just a case of not making a mistake and avoiding any navigational errors in the final stage to run in the sand dunes of Peru, and with the terrain set to change in Bolivia, he was happy to stay close to the top of the standings.

“It was a very long day but we managed to reach the La Paz bivouac without any problem,” said van Beveren. “It was raining for the most part of the day and in the liaison section it was really, really cold.

“The timed special was quite fast, without any technical difficulties. The goal was not to make any navigational mistakes and reach the finish with a good overall time. I am happy I made it happen and now we are here in the La Paz bivouac.

“So far everything is going well and I’m happy I got to the rest day in second overall. The gap to the leader is really small and with one more full week of racing, anything can happen.”