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The Stage 1 of the 2021 Dakar Rally has concluded. All three Indian riders participating in the world's toughest rally has managed to complete the stage successfully. However, owing to the harsh terrain and tough conditions some riders have retired from the race.
The Stage 1 of the rally race was held between Jeddah and Bisha. The Stage 1 covered a total distance of 623 kilometres out of which, the competitive special stage spanned 277 kilometres. The 277-kilometre Special stage consisted of 48 per cent sand and 48 per cent soil.
This meant riders could do some great speeds, however, following another rider would be an issue because of the dust. The remaining 3 per cent of the special stage was made up of stone terrain, which was no to be ignored due to the tire restriction this year.
Yesterday's Prologue winner Ricky Brabec riding for Monster Energy Honda rally team opened the Stage 1 of the rally. However, he was soon lost in the first part of the Special stage. Taking advantage of it, the Australian racer Toby Price riding for Red Bull KTM Factory Team took the lead of Stage 1 starting from 9th position.
The two-time Dakar Rally Winner completed the Special stage in 03:18:26 and took the victory of the Stage 1. Finishing in a close second place is Kevin Benavides riding for Monster Energy Honda rally team who finished just 31 seconds behind the leader. The podium places were completed by Matthias Walkner riding for Red Bull KTM Factory Team finishing in third place just a second behind the Stage 1 runner-up.
Speaking about the Indian riders, Harith Noah riding for Sherco Factory Rally team is off to flying start on Stage 1 of the 2021 Dakar Rally. He has finished the first stage of the rally in 31st position with a time of 03:54:19, which is 35 minutes and 53 seconds behind the leader.
Other riders of the TVS-sponsored Sherco Rally Team, Lorenzo Santolino and Rui Goncalves has completed the Stage 1 of the 2021 Dakar Rally in 5th and 27th position respectively. Lorenzo Santolino retains his 5th position from the Prologue stage.
Indian Ace rally rider, C S Santosh completed the first stage of the 2021 Dakar in 42nd position. He completed the Special stage in 04:08:21 — 49 minutes and 55 seconds behind the leader of the Stage 1.
Riding alongside CS Santosh for the HeroMotoSport Rally team, Joaquim Rodrigues and Sebastian Buhler have finished the first stage of the 2021 Dakar Rally in 23rd and 29th position overall, respectively.
Lastly, Ashish Raorane completed his debut stage of the Dakar Rally in 84th position overall. He is competing in the Malle Moto a.k.a Original By Motul category and completed 24th among other riders present in the same format. He completed his debut Special stage 1 of Dakar Rally in 06:08:27.
Stage 1 Provisional Results:
Hero MotoSport Rally Team Standings
23rd Position - Joaquim Rodrigues [03:34:53]
29th Position - Sebastian Buhler [03:50:20]
35th Position - C S Santosh [04:08:21]
Sherco Rally Team Standings
5th Position - Lorenzo Santolino [03:22:49]
27th Position - Rui Goncalves [03:45:07]
31st Position - Harith Noah [03:54:19]
Privateer (Malle Moto Class)
84th Position - Ashish Rorane [06:08:27]
Stage 1 Overall Standings (Bike)
1st Position - Toby Price [03:18:26] (Red Bull KTM Factory Team)
2nd Position - Kevin Benavides [03:18:57] (Monster Energy Honda Team 2021)
3rd Position - Matthias Walkner [03:18:58] (Red Bull KTM Factory Team)
Thoughts About The 2021 Dakar Rally Stage 1 Result & Highlights
The defending champion, Ricky Brabec had a rough outgoing on the first stage of the 2021 Dakar Rally and is now 18 minutes behind the leader. While we have noticed a few riders throwing in the towel for various reasons, all three riders from India are going strong into the Stage 2 of the rally race tomorrow. Stay tuned for a complete race report after each Stage of the 2021 Dakar Rally.