13-time winner, ‘Mr Dakar’ Stephane Peterhansel wins stage 4 in AlUla as Carlos Sainz keeps the lead in Saudi Arabia

Mini's French driver Stephane Peterhansel and his Portuguese co-driver Paulo Fiuza during the Stage 4 of the Dakar Rally 2020 between Neom and AlUla. (AFP)
Short Url
Updated 08 January 2020

13-time winner, ‘Mr Dakar’ Stephane Peterhansel wins stage 4 in AlUla as Carlos Sainz keeps the lead in Saudi Arabia

  • The 453km special ran close to the historic Nabatean temples in AlUla
  • Overall leader Carlos Sainz finished third

ALULA, Saudi Arabia: Frenchman Stephane Peterhansel, otherwise known as Mr.Dakar for his 13 victories in the marathon rally, clocked his first stage win of the 2020 race during Wednesday’s 672 kilometer charge from Neom to Al Ula.
Peterhansel and his Portuguese navigator Paulo Fiuza threw their Mini across the rocks and sand that made up the greater part of the 453k special which also ran close to the historic Nabatean temples, to finish stage four in 4hr 14min 34sec.

At one point they made a wrong turn which cut away some of their lead but they still came home 2min 26sec ahead of defending champion Nasser Al-Attiyah in his Toyota.
It was a defiant response from the Qatari who began the day with a three-minute penalty for not letting a rival through on stage three.
“It feels good after all that trouble in the first few days, even though we had a flat tire and got lost once,” said Peterhansel.
“It wasn’t a flawless special, but it feels great to take the win.
“There were more stones than expected and the final 60 kilometers were really difficult.”

Overall leader Carlos Sainz, who pulled out a stunning drive to win on Tuesday, finished third more than seven minutes behind Peterhansel.
The Spaniard retains the overall lead and is 3:03 ahead of Al-Attiyah and 11:42 in front of Peterhansel.
“Leading the charge was hard and Carlos lost some time, but he did an amazing job because it didn’t take him long to get back on track,” said Peterhansel.

-------

READ MORE: ARAB NEWS' DEDICATED DAKAR RALLY SPOTLIGHT

-------

Former Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso couldn’t reproduce his great drive on stage three, finishing 26 minutes behind Peterhansel who gave a ringing endorsement of the new Saudi setting for the race.
“This new Dakar is brilliant,” said the Frenchman. “It has all the ingredients — superb landscapes, tricky navigation and enough difficulties to make a selection.
“The organizers have been perfect so far.”
Chilean Jose Ignacio Cornejo Florimo won the bikes category and is third in the overall standings, 8:31 behind his American Honda teammate Ricky Brabec.

 


Liverpool make U-turn over furlough scheme after clubs slammed

Updated 06 April 2020

Liverpool make U-turn over furlough scheme after clubs slammed

  • Liverpool faced stinging criticism from fans and former players after revealing over the weekend that they wanted to use the UK government’s furlough scheme
  • The fierce backlash sparked a sudden climbdown as Liverpool CEO Peter Moore wrote an open letter to supporters announcing they would no longer pursue the furlough route

LONDON: Liverpool were forced to apologize as the Premier League club ditched their controversial plan to furlough non-playing staff during the coronavirus on Monday, while FIFA urged players and clubs to reach agreement over wage reductions.
Liverpool faced stinging criticism from fans and former players after revealing over the weekend that they wanted to use the UK government’s furlough scheme.
Fenway Sports Group, Liverpool’s US-based owners, wanted to put around 200 staff on enforced leave during the pandemic while the government paid 80 percent of their wages.
Fellow top-flight teams Tottenham, Newcastle, Bournemouth and Norwich have already furloughed staff, but it was table-toppers Liverpool — with pre-tax profits of £42 million ($51.7 million) for the 2018-19 season — who came in for the most criticism, in part due to their reputation as a club with a strong bond to the working-class community on Merseyside.
The fierce backlash sparked a sudden climbdown as Liverpool chief executive Peter Moore wrote an open letter to supporters announcing they would no longer pursue the furlough route.
“We have consulted with a range of key stakeholders as part of a process aimed at achieving the best possible outcome for all concerned,” Moore said.
“We have opted to find alternative means despite our eligibility to apply for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
“We believe we came to the wrong conclusion last week to announce that we intended to apply to the Coronavirus Retention Scheme and furlough staff due to the suspension of the Premier League football calendar, and are truly sorry for that.”
Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher tweeted: “Well done @PeterMooreLFC @LFC a big mistake initially & thankfully now it’s been put right.”
With the Premier League postponed indefinitely because of the virus, Manchester City, bankrolled by Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Mansour, said they would not be using the government’s job retention scheme, with Manchester United set to follow their example.
Liverpool’s U-turn came as England’s top-flight teams, among the richest in the world, were under increasing scrutiny, with government ministers warning bosses and players they should “think carefully” over their next moves.
The highest-paid Premier League players such as Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea and Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne command eye-watering salaries, reportedly nearing £20 million ($25 million) a year.
FIFA on Monday urged clubs and players to reach agreement on taking wage reductions in order to protect clubs who are suffering financial damage, sources at world football’s governing body said.
It also recommended that players’ contracts be extended until the end of the interrupted football seasons and that the transfer window should not open until that time.
The call from FIFA comes as Premier League clubs are locked in talks with players and their representatives about taking pay cuts.
The English top flight is lagging behind other European leagues.
In Spain, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid players have agreed to pay cuts of 70 percent.
Many politicians have urged action from the Premier League and in a poll conducted by British polling company YouGov last week, 92 percent of respondents said they backed a pay cut.
But some leading players resent the political pressure. Former England captain Wayne Rooney has criticized the government and the Premier League for placing footballers in a “no-win” situation.
“In my opinion it is now a no-win situation,” Rooney said in a newspaper column. “Whatever way you look at it, we’re easy targets.”
In the latest sign of the financial crisis as a result of the coronavirus, England manager Gareth Southgate and the Football Association’s top earners have agreed to take wage cuts of up to 30 percent.