2020 DAKAR WINNER: Spain’s Carlos Sainz wins his third Dakar at the age of 57

2020 DAKAR WINNER: Spain’s Carlos Sainz wins his third Dakar at the age of 57 Credit: Twitter

THE Spaniard, leader from the third stage onwards, finishes an impeccable race mastered as only Sainz can, with commanding skill, blistering speed and faultless navigation.

As tweeted by the official Dakar account:

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The absolute embodiment of sportsmanship: @AlAttiyahN waiting for @Csainz_oficial to congratulate him on his #Dakar2020 triumph. Give it up for those two legends

The win gives Carlos Sainz, 57, his third Dakar Rally victory. Two-time world rally champion Sainz, father of McLaren Formula 1 driver Carlos Sainz Jr, finished 6m21s clear of reigning champion Nasser Al-Attiyah after 12 stages held, for the first time ever, in Saudi Arabia.

The victory also means that Sainz has now won the Dakar with three different manufacturers, 2020 with Mini, having previously triumphed with Volkswagen in 2010 and Peugeot in 2018.

Spanish two-time Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso passed the final stage 3m25s slower than Al-Attiyah, good enough for fourth-fastest on the day – behind also Yasir Seaidan (Toyota) and Terranova.

Dakar 2020 was Alonso’s maiden race in the gruelling rally, finishing in 13th place overall, lagging behind Sainz by over four and a half hours at the marathon finish. Considering the two major set-backs suffered by Alonso during the 12 stages leading to lengthy repairs on the second stage and a roll during the 10th, the Spaniard did well to finish in the top 15.

This was the first time since 2015 that no Peugeot finished in the top three, or indeed the top 10, in the Dakar.

A tweet from Dakar relays Saniz’s first words of thanks:

Very, very happy, thanks to the whole team, the mechanics, family, fans and to everyone in Spain




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