The two-time champion of the Dakar in motorcycles, Toby Price, has taken advantage of his starting position, privileged, to be imposed in the first stage of the Dakar held for the first time in Saudi Arabia. The KTM rider, who started 23rd, thanks to the decision of the organizers to provide an inverted output with the first 25 bibs, has made the best time from Jeddah to Al Wajh: 3h19m33s to complete a special 319 km along the Red Sea.
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The australian was awarded the win despite the difficulty of shooting practically blindly, with no route book (broke a piece that prevented him from advancing in the route from mile 15) and with the guide, yes, of the rivals that preceded it in the output. Price will continue for the time being in the general Ricky Babrec (Honda, just 5s) and Matthias Walkner (KTM, to 40s). Joan Barreda (Honda, in 5m 51s) finished the stage with the seventh fastest time.
The distance that had taken out their rivals was bigger, but Price was penalized for speeding after the setback he had with his route book. “I've had some luck, because I have been able to succeed pegándome to the wheel of other riders and eating a lot of dust. On paper everything seems to go well, but it is possible that I fall down a penalty”, warned his arrival at the end of the special, conscious of the mistakes you have made. Since it is hooked to the wheel of his teammate Walkner and was effectively sanctioned.
it was Never easy to begin the Rally marking the way to the rest, especially on days on which the navigation is imposed. And this course have already warned the organizers that will not only be difficult to orientate themselves in the desert, also to choose the right course, as there are a lot of parallel tracks that can generate doubts. Well known as Joan Pedrero, who had the dubious honour of opening track and ended up giving up 25 minutes to make the 25th best time. “Even much better than I expected,” admitted the Catalan, who noticed she had enjoyed a phase of very beautiful that has developed “between the canyons”.
Surprise in the car
A real unknown at the Dakar, the Lithuanian 32 years Somogy Vaidotas (Mini, Agrorodeo), 12th ranked in the edition of 2019, he won the first stage in its fifth participation in the Rally. The pilot, who completed the special in 3h 19m 4s, surprised everyone with his speed and aguó the party to Stéphane Peterhansel, to eventually finish second , 2m 14s. In the third place, Carlos Sainz (2m 50s) and in the fourth, Nasser Al-Attiyah (5m 33s), the first car to take the exit, the first of the favorites to overcome a bad day: earn up to three punctures in the last stretch of the route. It was not the only one. Also Sainz prodded (as the other Toyota), interestingly in the area of sand. "The stage was okay, but could have gone better. In addition to djing, I don't understand very well why, we lost a lot of time in a step point. At the end I squeezed out a lot to mitigate a little damage," he explained.
Fernando Alonso, one of the great attractions of this edition, finished in eleventh place in his first stage dakariana after giving 15m 27s on the leader. A good time for a couple unheard-of, that way with Marc Coma, who wants to take things with calm. “The first stage always has a little bit of extra stress. Has been a stage, not without complications, because there is going to be in all the stages, but we've moved forward. Felt good in the car, I have been very comfortable with it, we have not experienced any shock, or no shock. That is what we wanted,” said Alonso. Your Toyota prodded twice and missed on two other occasions. “And when you get lost and suddenly find the way, get a fourth drive and do 10 km in second, behind three other cars and 50 km/h because you can't see well. But it happens to everyone”, it comforted her.
on the other hand, Giniel de Villiers and Nani Roma, two of the candidates to the final triumph, started this Dakar with the wrong foot and, after many punctures, stop leak 23 and 28 minutes respectively in front of the leader of the day.
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