Jan 21

Dakar 2018: Untameable

The essentials

Image result for dakar logoThe victories achieved by Kevin Benavides in the bike race, Ignacio Casale in the quad category, Giniel de Villiers in the car race and Ton van Genugten in the truck category did not affect the positions at the top of the rally’s hierarchy.

Matthias Walkner became the first Austrian winner on a bike, with Austrian brand KTM continuing to dominate the event thanks to a 17th consecutive success. For its last participation, Peugeot also retained the title, but this time only one of their cars was on the podium, namely the 3008 Maxi driven by winner Carlos Sainz. Under threat until the day before the finish from Federico Villagra, in the end Eduard Nikolaev obtained a third title behind the wheel of his Kamaz. As for Chilean Ignacio Casale, to win his 2nd Dakar he dominated the general standings from start to finish.

In total, 185 vehicles completed the 40th edition: 85 bikes, 32 quads, 49 cars including 6 SxS and 19 trucks, meaning 55% of the competitors that set out from Lima two weeks ago reached the finish.

The essentials

More open than ever before, the bike race soon produced its first surprise with the premature exit from the rally of Sam Sunderland in the dunes of San Juan de Marcona on only day 4 of the rally. The title holder and winner of 2 out of the first 3 stages left the field clear for a hungry chasing pack led by the new guard represented by Adrien van Beveren and Kevin Benavides. The two men challenged the usual domination of KTM, exchanging the lead in the general standings on several occasions. This battle was interspersed with exploits from Joan Barreda or Antoine Meo, before an intense and devastating tenth stage. A day which should have allowed the young Argentinean to triumph in his home country instead put an end to his hopes due to a terrible navigational error in the river beds of Belén towards the end of the special. He dragged a good number of the favourites down with him, including Toby Price, with Matthias Walkner and Van Beveren the only leading riders to come out unscathed. However, the Yamaha rider did not remain unharmed due to a terrible fall 3 km from the finish, which put the Austrian in sole command of the Dakar. Controlling the race perfectly up to the end of the event, at the age of 31 years the Austrian has grabbed the biggest prize of his career, allowing KTM to continue an incredible sequence of 17 consecutive triumphs…

The complete article here on dakar.com

source: dakar.com