With C S Santosh crashing in Stage 4 and Ashish Raorane in Stage 5, Sherco Factory-sponsored rider Harith Noah is now the sole Indian at the 2021 Dakar. Despite the unenviable odds, however, he seems to want to only go ahead on his exploits, which is apparent from his performance in the sixth stage.
Stage six was originally supposed to be a 170km liaison and 448km special stage. However, it was shortened by 100km, with the stage start deferred by 1.5 hours, keeping in mind the difficulties faced by many competitors in the previous stage. Despite that, navigational skills played a decisive role in the outcome of this special, with the riders’ physical capacities sorely tested, making the rest day that will take place in Ha’il that much well-deserved.
Nevertheless, Harith put in his very best, finishing the stage at P29 – with an overall time of 04:21:49 hours – a considerable leap up from his P41 finish in the previous stage. With this, he also achieves a precious three-spot leap in the overall rankings, now standing at P36 in the overall standings.
As mentioned, Saturday (January 9) will be a rest day for the competitors at Ha’il, which will be essential for them to rest and recoup. The campaign will then restart on Sunday (January 10) with Stage 7 being the 737km (including a 471km special stage) sprint to Sakaka, for a technically challenging sequence of stony plateaus in the initial sections, followed by sand mountains and a mix of winding and fast sections.