Joan Barreda wins the first stage of the Dakar on motorcycles - La Provincia
The opening of the Dakar Rally, considered the hardest raid in the world, started on Monday with two of his favorites, the Spanish Joan Barreda (Honda) and the Qatari Nasser Al-Attiyah (Toyota), respectively in motorcycles and cars, One category is where Carlos Sainz (Mini) gave almost two minutes at the start of the defense of his 2018 victory.
A total of 247 kilometers, only 84 of special, between Lima, capital of Peru, the exclusive protagonist of this 'short' edition, and the town of Pisco, were in charge of giving the starting signal to a test that already has its first prominent leaders, both with more than a minute and a half of income.
On two wheels, the Castellón Barreda hopes to finally crown himself as the champion after several fruitless years. For this, he decided to start strongly from the start and nobody, except for the Chilean Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) could disturb him.
Barreda did not have excessive problems to get what is his seventeenth stage win in this 'raid' since it was the fastest from start to finish. Already in the first 'way point' had amassed 15 seconds of advantage over Quintanilla, a distance that increased to almost the minute on the South American.
Finally, the Spanish pilot did not relax a bit and He finished taking the first stage with a time of 57:36, with 1:34 of rent on the Chilean and already almost three minutes (2:52) on the American Ricky Bravec (Honda).
In addition, the day was positive for Castellón who already has a great advantage over other favorites such as the winner of last year, the Austrian Matthias Walkner (3:12), the one from 2017, the British Sam Sunderland (2:56), and the of 2016, the Australian Toby Price (3:08), all of KTM.
As for the rest of Spaniards, Oriol Mena (Speedbrain), was the next best classified in the fourteenth place to more than 7 minutes, while Laia Sanz started with a thirty-first place, at 12:38 of Barreda.
Al-Attiyah dominates Sainz
On the other hand, in the category of cars, the first duel between the Toyota and the Mini was for the car of the Japanese brand thanks to the Qatari Nasser Al-Attiyah, winner ahead of Carlos Sainz, both double winners of the Dakar.
The Spaniard, champion in 2010 and 2018, met the first difficulty of having to leave first, just ahead of the Asian, winner in 2011 and 2015, in the latter at the wheel of a Mini, which also dominated with some authority in this first day.
Al-Attiyah attacked from the beginning to catch up with Sainz and from there he opened a gap soon. Thus, already in the first point he had 38 seconds of advantage over the veteran Spanish rider, who although managed to contain his rival and lose only seven seconds more in the second 'way point', could not with the Toyota to the finish line.
The Qatari driver gave the first blow on the table to prevail with a time of 1:01:41 and get almost two minutes ahead of Sainz, which lost 1:59 and finally was the best Mini of this first day where the third place went to another vehicle of the British brand, the Polish Jakub Przygonski, who was a second of the 'Matador'.
On the other hand, things did not go so well for the Mini of the Catalan Joan 'Nani' Roma, winner in 2014 of the 'raid' and who could only be eleventh losing almost five minutes (4:45) over the winner of the stage. Another contender for the final triumph as the French Stephane Peterhansel, 'Monsieur Dakar' with his 13 victories, gave almost three minutes (2:57) also at the wheel of a Mini.
Further, Jesús Calleja (Toyota) finished this first contact in twenty-second position, at 9:08 by Nasser Al-Attiyah, while Isidre Esteve, Repsol Rally Team driver, started this Dakar 32nd, and Burgos-born Cristina Gutiérrez (Mitsubishi), in 50th place.
This Tuesday will be the second stage of this Dakar Rally, and a long day between the towns of Pisco and San Juan de Marcona, 553 kilometers, 312 of them special.