SportsHow biker Adrien Van Beveren lost an (almost) won...

How biker Adrien Van Beveren lost an (almost) won race

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It is infuriating. This Friday, the British biker Sam Sunderland won the Dakar 2022 and thus secures a second title to his record in this event. For the northerner pilot Adrien Van Beveren, the scenario could have been, and should have been, quite different. Long on the podium during the race, and even leader several times, his dreams of victory collapsed at the start of the penultimate stage.

Since the start of this Dakar 2022 was given on January 1 in Saudi Arabia, the northerner rider Adrien Van Beveren had made the perfect race on the handlebars of his Yamaha. While he had had great struggles during previous Dakar’s, the rider quickly established himself this year by catching the lead peloton in general from the 2nd stage, then pole position in 7th.

Small mistake, big consequence

When he set off for the penultimate stage, Van Beveren was hopeful of consolidating his leadership position. Short-lived hope since his fate changed from the fourth kilometer. The Northerner missed a waypoint due to a small navigation error. A blunder which forced the biker to retrace his steps, causing him to lose long and precious minutes. And while he struggled to find the famous “way point”, his rivals took the opportunity to pass him in front.

When he left in the right direction, the damage was done. The northerner rider might well tear himself away, picking up the other competitors one by one to finish 3rd on the stage, his delay on the new leader, Sam Sunderland, was far too important. He knew it at the time, his blunder had cost him the Dakar.

The Monster Energy Yamaha Factory rider took the start of the last stage at the foot of the podium and his efforts did not allow him to finish in a better place. Adrien Van Beveren is 4th overall, almost 19 minutes from the winner. If he had to be happy with one thing, it would be to have finally been able to go to the end of the race, a first since 2017.

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