Jubilee 40-th “Dakar” has started. January 6, the parties held the first special stage, which, though small in extent, brought the first surprises.
The start-up stage of the rally-marathon “Dakar-2018” was preceded by an impressive road section on the Pacific coast, followed by a 31-kilometer high-speed special stage. Short sprint with a beautiful descent to the picturesque lake was the perfect warm-up for participants in the difficulties that await in the coming days.
The defending champion in the motorcycle category Sam Sunderland began the title defense with the victory. The KTM rider is 33 seconds ahead of home star Yamaha Adrien van Beveren. Representatives of Husqvarna and Honda’s Pablo Quintanilla and Joan Barreda finished the Board after losing the leader less than a minute, while the winner of “Dakar-2016” Toby Price has settled on a distant 14th place.
The title of one of the main favorites in the Quad class confirmed Ignacio Casale. The Chilean won the first stage ahead exactly one minute of the current winner Sergey Karjakin, who took second place.
In the category of cars, the Qatari Nasser al-Attiyah demonstrated his willingness to violate the two-year hegemony of the Peugeot. A two-time winner of “Dakar” won the first and certainly not the last victory at the “Dakar-2018”, and his teammate Bernard Ten Brink confirmed great form updated car Toyota Hilux.
In the truck category, Ales Loprais on Tatra won its sixth victory at stages “Dakar”. Renault representative Martin van den brink and was the fastest of racers “KAMAZ-Master” Eduard Nikolaev behind Cech for 30 seconds.
Bryce Menzies from team X-Raid MINI could hardly hope for a better debut in the main rally-RAID of the planet. The American completed his first special stage in third place, having lost only 38 seconds to the Nasser al-Attia, and ahead of team-mate Joan Nani Roma.
For the reigning Champions, team Peugeot, the start of “Dakar” was not the best way. None of the four cars of the “French lions” was not in the top ten: Stephane Peterhansel became the 11th, Cyril despres took 15 th place, while Carlos Sainz – 16. But the real fail was defeated Sebastien Loeb. At the third kilometer after the start in the car Alsatians had problems with the brakes. Nine-time world rally champion made it to the finish, but finished a distant 29th place and lost five and a half minutes Nasser al-Attia.
Only 33 seconds separated the Adrien van Beveren from the second victory in a row on the stage, after all, the Frenchman won the final stage of last year’s “Dakar”. The Yamaha is clearly on the rise and intends to put pressure on Sam Sunderland, his partner on the training and brother-in-law!
Stephane Peterhansel: “I was uncomfortable and lacked confidence, so I drove like grandma. Throughout the stage I was cautious. We lost a lot of time al-Attia – two minutes for 30 kilometers. You need to get into a rhythm, and then everything will be fine”.
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