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Dakar delight

Kitso Ramono
DUSTY DAREDEVIL: Branch is eyeing a famous finish

Branch on course for 2nd place finish

With just two stages of the Dakar Rally to go, local motorsport pin-up, Ross Branch remains on course for a spectacular second-place finish at the world famous event in Saudi Arabia.

As of Wednesday night, the 37-year-old ended Stage Ten a full 10 minutes behind race leader, Ricky Brabec of America.

Having led the pack for four days, Branch’s hopes of victory look to be slowly melting away in the desert, dented by two unfortunate crashes along the way, unseated first by a rock and then camel grass.

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However, if the Jwaneng-based Hero Motosports rider can cling on to second – he currently sits a minute ahead of the third-place rider – it will still represent a phenomenal achievement.

In his latest update online, Branch was in typically high spirits.

“Long ride since stage one; I lost a little time in several stages due to crashing and losing my navigations, but I’m satisfied with my riding. All I have to do is keep the wheels turning, the body and the bike in good condition,” he said.

The 46th edition of the Dakar Rally comes to an end on Friday. This year’s route saw competitors having to cover a total of 7, 891 grueling kilometers; with just 748km left, Branch is within touching distance of a podium finish – one final push is needed first!

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