- There’s some confusion about who’s placed where as penalties are applied. You’ll see we have a couple of conflicting positions for riders, and it depends on where the information comes from. You’d think the official Dakar site would be the most reliable, but they’re sometimes slow to update and other sites claim to have later information. The general pattern is clear enough – ed
- Much better video…
- Some images from the first stage…
- Update: Red Bull’s view of the first stage for the bikes: ‘The Red Bull KTM Factory Team have won the last 15 Dakars and have no intention on giving up their grip on the bike race this time around. Matthias Walker (AUT) and Sam Sunderland (GBR) both enjoyed their return to action with Top 10 placings on the opening stage. Their team-mate and reigning Dakar champ Toby Price (AUS) is also well placed with a Top 20 result alongside Stefan Svitko (SVK) and Daniel Nosiglia (BOL). Hélder Rodrigues (POR) is within 2m30s of early leader Xavier De Soultrait (FRA) after bringing home his Yamaha in 27th place.” Quote from Toby Price: “We got the job done today of starting the rally off in Paraguay. I opened the road today and that’s never easy on a Dakar stage. There was some wildlife out on the stage so I had to be careful to avoid that.”
There’s great video with bloody awful commentary at https://www.redbull.tv/live/AP-1Q1ZBU5Z91W11/dakar-rally
- After Stage One: Price is in 17th. There’s not much available from official Dakar sources yet, and we don’t know how the other Aussies fared. We’ll update the info as soon as we have it.
• UPDATE: Rod Faggotter in 26th. Facebook entry says: ‘Stage 1 complete, finished 26th riding along with RODRIGUES. All Aussies doing well and completed the stage.
Says it was sketchy and took it steady (not sure if that’s a word in this sport ) to be safe.’
‘In the bikes event, it was De Soultrait who was pushed to a nervy finish. Ultimately, the Frenchman crossed the line a mere two seconds in front of Juan Pedrero, per Khorounzhiy.
‘Despite the narrow win, De Soultrait felt confident enough to immediately spell out his intention to reach even greater success this year.
One rider off the pace was last year’s winner, Toby Price. The Australian could only clock a time of 20:36. It left him well adrift of De Soultrait in 15th.
Unlike De Soultrait, Kolomy won with a little more room to spare. He posted a time of 30 minutes, good enough for a gap of 13 seconds ahead of Dutchman Ton van Genugten.
Riders in every key event will now prepare for a demanding second stage. Rally competitors will have to combat the infamous Chaco region, throwing up chalk and dust to deter the unsteady riders, according to the tournament’s official site.
It’s another chance for prime contenders like De Soultrait and Al-Attiyah to show their credentials to win this year’s Dakar.
Top 10 looks like this:
1. De Soultrait (FRA) Yamaha 00:28:20
2. Cervantes Montero (ESP) KTM 00:29:16
3 Pedrero Garcia (ESP) Sherco TVS 00:28:22
4 Brabec (USA) Honda 00:28:34
5 Metge (FRA) Hnoda 00:28:38
6 Goncalves (PRT) Honda 00:28:38
7 Sunderland (GBR) KTM 00:28:49
8 Barreda Bort (ESP) Honda 00:28:52
9 Walkner (AUT) KTM 00:29:02
10 Farres Guell (ESP) KTM 00:29:08
- 17 Toby Price
- 20 Todd Smith
- 26. Rod Faggotter