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The 2018 Dakar Rally has come to an end with the final stage Cordoba-Cordoba, a 120km test, with riders getting little time to make up places. It was also the shortest stage, since the first stage of the gruelling rally. After 14 days of rallying, the crews finally crossed the finish line in Argentina.
Hero MotoSports Team Rally rider CS Santosh finished the final stage of the rally in 32nd position. With this stage result, the Indian rider recorded his best-ever result in the Dakar Rally by finishing in 34th place. Despite losing time in the first part of the rally, Santosh maintained his pace to record career-best result.
Santosh's teammate, Dakar rookie Oriol Mena finished the final stage in sixth place and ended the rally in an impressive seventh place. It is also Hero's first top ten finish in Dakar Rally. Sherco TVS rider Juan Pedrero Garcia finished the rally in 11th place as the 120km stage did not allow the Spanish rider to break into top ten places.
In the motorcycle category, the 2018 Dakar Rally victory went to KTM rider Matthias Walkner, a 17th straight victory for KTM and the maiden for the Austrian rider. Honda rider Kevin Benavides finished the rally in the second position and also recorded his first stage win in the final test. Toby Price rounded off the top three finishers in the 2018 Dakar Rally.
In the quads class, Chilean rider Ignacio Casale recorded his second Dakar Rally victory. Casale was dominant after the retirement of Sergey Karyakin, and he just needed to finish to win the rally. Rookie rider Nicolas Cavigliasso finished the rally in the second position, and Jeremias Gonzalez Ferioli finished in the final podium position.
In the cars category, veteran driver Carlos Sainz registered his second Dakar Rally victory. The back-to-back stage wins in the middle part of the rally helped the cause for the Spanish driver. Qatari driver Nasser Al-Attiyah finished in runner-up spot after having endured a tough rally. His teammate Giniel de Villiers rounded off the top three drivers after 14 stages.
In the trucks class, Russian driver Eduard Nikolaev clinched his third Dakar Rally victory and also registered back-to-back victories for Kamaz. The runner-up spot went to Maz driver Siarhei Viazovich. Nikolaev's teammate Ayrat Mardeev finished in the final podium spot.
Dakar 2018 Overall Results
- Matthias Walkner (AUT) KTM
- Kevin Benavides (ARG) Honda
- Toby Price (AUS) KTM
- Ignacio Casale (CHL) Yamaha
- Nicolas Cavigliasso (ARG) Yamaha
- Jeremias Gonzalez Ferioli (ARG) Yamaha
- Carlos Sainz (ESP) Peugeot
- Nasser Al-attiyah (QAT) Toyota
- Giniel De Villiers (ZAF) Toyota
- Eduard Nikolaev (RUS) Kamaz
- Siarhei Viazovich (BLR) Maz
- Airat Mardeev (RUS) Kamaz
The 2018 Dakar Rally has finally come to an end in Argentina. The Peru leg was the toughest one for the competitors as it witnessed riders faltering in the dunes. Bad weather hit the second part of the rally. India's CS Santosh endured the gruelling stages to record his best-ever result, and his third Dakar Rally finish.