Laia Sanz completes challenging stage two despite early crash

GasGas Factory Racing rider battles to the end of opening day of suuper marathon stage following heavy fall

GasGas Factory Racing’s Laia Sanz has endured a highly challenging day two of the 2020 Dakar Rally, crashing early in the stage and having to complete the 367-kilometre special with impaired navigational equipment. Thankfully, the damage to her GasGas RC 450F was largely superficial and despite the heavy physical impact Laia rode on to complete the stage in 38th position.

  • Laia completes difficult second stage despite an early ‘hard crash’
  • Al Wajh to Neom stage delivers extremely challenging navigation
  • Battered and bruised, Laia sits 28th in the overall classification

Laia Sanz“It was a difficult day for me today. It’s never good to crash during any stage, but to crash at the start of a stage, and a stage that has tricky navigation, wasn’t good. I broke part of my navigational equipment, so I had to slow down to really concentrate on the navigation and lost a lot of time. Also, some riders passed me so there was a lot of dust. But it’s happened and more or less my bike and I are ok. In many ways I am lucky because all the important parts of my bike are working. I can forget this stage now and look forward. I’m expecting a tough day tomorrow, as I will start further down the start order and most likely in a lot of dust again.”

The 20th rider to leave the start of today’s stage, Laia unfortunately came off her GasGas RC 450F before the day’s first waypoint when she hit some stones while reading her road book. Suffering a sizeable fall, she was thankfully not seriously injured and rode on. Dropping to 49th she picked up a number of places during the 367-kilometre stage to earn a 38th place result.

With just 10 minutes and no outside assistance from her team allowed at the end of the stage, Laia was able to place her bike in the overnight parc ferme in good working order ahead of tomorrow’s stage three.

Forming the second half of the event’s super marathon stage, the 2020 Dakar Rally will continue with day three, which features a 427-kilometre special stage that takes competitors on a circular route from and back to Neom.

Provisional results: Dakar Rally 2020 Stage 2
1. Ross Branch (KTM) 3:39:10
2. Sam Sunderland (KTM) 3:40:34 + 0:01:24
3. Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) 3:41:31 + 0:02:21
38. Laia Sanz (GasGas) 4:23:02 + 0:43:52

Provisional standings: Dakar Rally 2020 (after stage 2)
1. Sam Sunderland (KTM) 7:05:22
2. Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) 7:06:40 + 0:01:18
3. Kevin Benavides (Honda) 7:06:54 + 0:01:32
28. Laia Sanz (GasGas) 8:06:20 + 1:00:58

Download high-res images from the 2020 Dakar Rally here.