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Dakar Rally 2019 has officially commenced in Lima, Peru on January 6, and the results of Stage 1 are out. In its 41st edition, the world's toughest motorsport event will be held in Peru (in South America) only. 11 years have passed since Dakar was shifted from the African continent.
Stage 1 of Dakar 2019 saw contestants racing against the clock to the city of Pisco. The route consisted of a 247-kilometre liaison (untimed section) and an 84-kilometre special stage. The special stage made the participants travel back from Limo to Pisco.
Proudy representing India, Hero MotoSports Team Rally and Sherco TVS Factory Rally Team had a good start in the first stage and made their way to the top 15. Michael Metge of Sherco TVS finished 12th, while Hero MotoSports' Oriol Mena completed in the 14th position.
"A difficult first stage, it took a bit of time to adapt to the bike, but little by little I felt better and better and I have confidence for the future!", shared Michael Metge.
Hero MotorSports rider, CS Santosh finished in the 20th position, "First day out of the books. I had butterflies in the beginning but it is always like this with the first stage of the Dakar. After the riverbed, there was a lot of dust but I got into my own rhythm. I am very happy to bring the bike home in the first stage and hopefully, this will continue in the next stages as well."
The team's other rider, Joaquim Rodrigues crossed the line in the 23rd position.
Adrien Metge and Lorenzo Santolino finished in the 24th and 24th positions, respectively, while Aravind KP struggled a bit in the first stage. He is currently in the 71st position.
With that being said, here are the 2019 Dakar Stage 1 results in a glance:
12. Michael Metge
24. Adrien Metge
25. Lorenzo Santolino
71. Aravind KP
14. Oriol Meno
20. CS Santosh
23. Joaquim Rodrigues
1. Joan Barreda Bort (Monster Energy Honda)
2. Pablo Quintanilla (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing)
3. Ricky Brabec (Monster Energy Honda)
Stage 1 was a bit challenging for some as they were still getting used to their machine. In the coming days, we can expect better performance from all the participants. Stage 2 goes from Pisco to San Juan de Marcona.