After having a tough stage 6 yesterday, Antoine Meo dominated the entire stage from the very beginning and won the stage with a very comfortable margin over Honda's Paulo Goncalves. In the beginning of the stage, KTM's Toby Price was neck-to-neck with the Honda rider.
Things went wrong when Goncalves decided to stop and assist the KTM rider, Matthias Walkner, which cost him over 11 minutes, risking his chances of winning the Dakar 2016. This act pushed Goncalves to finish 15th provisionally. But then the officials decided to deduct 10 minutes and 53 seconds from his overall time, which made him finish third in stage 7.
Also Read - Dakar 2016: Toby Price Wins Stage 6; Barreda Bort Out of Contention
Disaster happened when Joan Barreda Bort, who was one of the 117 riders who were supposed to start the stage but was also one of the four riders who didn't, was forced to retire. This confirms that for the second time, Barreda Bort, and Honda as well, were plain unlucky to 'win' the Dakar.
Other three riders who were unfortunate enough to not start the stage were Wessel Bosman (no. 130), Humphrey Senn Van Basel (no. 121) and Javier Pizzolito (no. 22).
Third fastest rider during the stage was Honda's Kevin Benavides, who was followed by Yamaha's Helder Rodrigues. The champ of the last two stages, Toby Price, was sixth fastest.
The stage also helped Stefan Svitko move up to the third position (overall) as a result of KTM rider Walkner exiting the Dakar 2016.
After stage 7, here are the overall top 10 riders:
1. Paulo Goncalves (Honda) - 22:52:30
2. Toby Price (KTM) - 22:55:42
3. Stefan Svitko (KTM) - 23:01:54
4. Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) - 23:10:36
5. Kevin Benavides (Honda) 23:13:31
6. Antoine Meo (KTM) - 23:13:36
7. Helder Rodrigues (Yamaha) - 23:17:14
8. Farres Guell (KTM) - 23:22:27
9. Alain Duclos (Sherco TVS) - 23:23:02
10. Juan Pedrero Garcia (Sherco TVS) - 23:24:15