Sanders out of Dakar after liaison section crash

GasGas rider Daniel Sanders is out of the Dakar Rally after crashing during the liaison section on his way to the start of Sunday's seventh stage of the event.

The Australian had won two of the six stages to have taken place during the Saudi Arabian event so far to go into Saturday's rest day third overall, trailing GasGas teammate Sam Sunderland by just five minutes, 35 seconds.

However, en route to the start of Sunday's 402km Riyadh-Al Dawadimi stage, Sanders injured his left arm in a fall and had to be taken to hospital.

As the winner of Stage 6, Sanders had been due to open the road, a task that will now be taken up by his teammate Sunderland, now the sole representative for the KTM-owned GasGas brand.

Sunderland goes into Stage 7 with a slim 2m39s lead over KTM's Matthias Walkner, while Yamaha's Adrien van Beveren is promoted to third overall.

Sanders had been tackling only his second Dakar after making a strong impression on his debut in 2021, when he finished fourth overall with a best stage finish of second.

He won this year's Prologue stage on New Year's Day and then followed that up by taking the spoils in the first stage proper, before adding a second triumph during the shortened sixth stage on Friday immediately prior to the rest day.

Another satellite KTM squad, Husqvarna, was reduced to a single rider - Luciano Benavides - earlier in the week following the retirement of Skyler Howes after a crash on Stage 5.

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