Nacho Cornejo, from a prominent leader to the hospital: “I feel as if a train had passed me by”

The Chilean started stage 10 of the Dakar in the lead for 11 minutes, but a crash at kilometer 292 caused him to lose all his lead and ultimately sent him to hospital for precautionary testing.

This was to be his Dakar. Nacho Cornejo He arrived at this edition full of confidence, after a great 4th position in 2020, and from day one he presented himself as a very realistic option in the Honda army.

Brabec wins the tenth stage and fights for the Dakar after the fall of CornejoBrabec wins the tenth stage and fights for the Dakar after the fall of CornejoRead news

Redoing himself in the second stage at the bad start of the raid was a show of pride, but especially it was in the second week that he brought out his best. The day of the fall of Toby Price, the Chilean took the lead for a second, when the Australian had to go he was 11 minutes ahead and things were going perfectly.

However, the Dakar decides its champions and in this 2021 he was not willing for it to be him. A fall at kilometer 292 It made him lose all the accumulated advantage, and in the end they made him quit. The message jumped in the middle of the tumultuous stage 10: the leader of the motorcycle category and top seed was going to the ground, although he continued.

It was at the finish line where he decided to put himself in the hands of the doctors. Warned that He got dizzy, had trouble focusing his eyes, and felt sick to his stomach. Common signs of a possible contusion or cranial involvement after a blow. Although he could have gone to rest to see how it was progressing, the danger of having an internal injury (a clot, a dreaded subdural hematoma …) due to the blow, they made it advisable to evacuate him.

Cornejo, who had managed to solve the day to finish it just over a minute from the leader, his partner Kevin Benavides, he was forced to leave in a totally unexpected way.

“We have failed in our mission. Today I had a very strong fall that left me unconscious for a few minutes, I was able to get back on the bike, but very slowly and with the bike all bent. We made the finish line in stage 10 but for safety I have to get checked for the heavy blow to the head. I feel like a train has run over me. I have nothing left but to thank the tremendous support of my team, my family, my coaches and all the fans for their encouragement. We were close to the great dream, it will remain pending, “he said later.

The Honda team now has one more reason to win. They have three drivers in the top four, with Benavides First, Brabec second to less than a minute, Sunderland as the best representative of the once almighty KTM at 10 minutes and Barreda to a quarter of an hour. The Valencian does not have them all with him, but he is aware that he can still give the bell in the two remaining days.

This will not be Cornejo’s Dakar, but at 26 he is very clear that the future awaits a great reward. You already know what it’s like to lead the toughest raid in the world and now you want to win it.