After a day of rest at Ha’il, the 2021 Dakar rally resumed with Stage 7 being the 737km (284km liaison and 453km special) sprint to Sakaka. Initial sections consisted of stony plateaus, followed by sand mountains and a mix of winding and fast sections. And despite these treacherous conditions, TVS Racing-sponsored rider Harith Noah showed his best results thus far, securing a P25 finish in the stage (up four spots) and getting to P33 (from P36 in Stage 6), setting a very commendable 05:17:03 hours overall timing.
The stage started off very cold, which seemed to take a toll on the riders, something which wasn’t really apparent vis-a-vis the number of kilometres covered. Hence, Harith rode carefully, with his focus on avoiding any mistakes. This was especially important, as with half the rally now finished, any drop in performance can have massive repercussions.
The next stage will take us to Neom, and will comprise a 334km liaison stage and 375km special. Touted as the ‘second part’ of the marathon stage, it will include copious amounts of sand dunes, loose soil and rocky sections, albeit surrounded by what is regarded by many as the most majestic of landscapes.