Four-time Dakar champion Eduard Nikolaev took his second win of the season in his return to the rally after a season in Kamaz management. The Russian beat Anton Shibalov by 3'35', with Dmitry Sontikov capping a Kamaz 1-2-3 at 5'35'. Sotnikov still leads the overall ahead of Nikolaev and Shibalov.
A major setback for Andrey Karginov, who has been stationary for over half an hour at km 421. The Kamaz driver, who dominated the 2020 Dakar, could end up losing this edition due to a mechanical in a repeat of last year's misfortune.
After going through the first checkpoint in fourth place, albeit just 23 seconds down, Andrey Karginov has taken over the reins before the 200 km mark. Eduard Nikolaev is right behind his teammate at 10 seconds, with Dmitry Sotnikov also close at 41. Janus van Kasteren has placed his Iveco in fourth place, within a minute of the leader. Meanwhile, Anton Shibalov is struggling in fifth place and conceding over 3 minutes.
Dmitry Sotnikov was the first truck driver to hit the road today, followed by teammate Andrey Karginov. Sotnikov has already landed two stage wins and leads the general standings by almost 12 minutes over yet another Kamaz man, Eduard Nikolaev.