• Rally of Ula Neom. First podium on the ground for Alonso

In the next few days, the Fernando Alonso Museum in Asturias will receive a new trophy. One quite original, for coming from a land until recently unknown to the Spanish. Together with his cars and his race winner cups and world titles in Formula 1 or the Resistance (double Le Mans winner), a memory with great flavor will appear for him: the prize for his first podium on earth, won by finish third in the Ula Neom Rally of Saudi Arabia . Achieving it in that destination is a plus of confidence for the ovetense, because there precisely will be held on the Dakar next January, in what will be the great off-road baptism of the pilot who left the F1 tracks almost a year ago.

For Alonso, always competitive, finishing in the top three has been a joyful surprise. He sings to the four winds his logical prudence in the desert, the modesty of the rookie, but whoever knows him knows that he never goes out to tie, much less. "It has been a good four-day preparation for the Dakar, discovering new terrain and new things here," he explained yesterday, also satisfied with the good synergy with Marc Coma , his famous co-pilot, one of the greatest Dakarians in history (five times winner in motorcycle category). «Being third in the last two stages and third also in general is the first podium of my life in rallies. It's good that it happened now because it gives us confidence for the Dakar, ”he confesses.

Alonso repeated in the last stage the third place of the previous one and finished the competition in that same position, at 16:20 minutes from the winner, Al Rajhi, who in the last day took away the title to his compatriot Yasin Bin Seaidan (Mini), Rally leader in the previous days, despite suffering three punctures, according to Efe.

The Spaniard accumulated 800 kilometers of experience without risking too much. He preferred to advance at a pace than to play it and finish earlier. A lesson he will try to apply at his premiere at the Dakar (January 5 to 17) , where he has recognized that he travels with humble expectations. He wants to go the further the better, if he can finish the test, great. And if one stage has a shot ... Then go for it, no doubt. He is promising his people that he will take good care of himself, that he does not want scares, but they are the first to know his fang once he is behind the wheel, even in territories as unknown as the sands.

«First podium in Rally !!! Thanks to these guys, ”Alonso celebrated on Twitter , hours before flying to Madrid. In the capital, stopover and direct last night to Buenos Aires , where a promotional event with Toyota awaits. His debut in Arabia with the car of the Japanese brand he will wear in the Dakar has gone quite well.

His next test will be in Abu Dhabi, in two weeks, to continue making kilometers with the Toyota Hilux . A month later he will embark again towards Arabia for one of the great challenges of his sports career.

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  • Fernando Alonso
  • Dakar Rally
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