The fortieth edition of the Dakar began on January 6 in Lima, Peru. This is the tenth time that this legendary race, once linking Paris to Dakar, takes place in South America. The race lasts 14 days for a total of 9000 kilometers including about 5000 kilometers of special: A timed part where you must obviously go as fast as possible, while respecting the official itinerary. The special has two pass controls where you have to point with a race commissioner. One of these is the occasion of a petrol refueling where a mandatory stop of 15 minutes takes place.

Dakar 2018
Route of the Rallye Dakar 2018

 

"The return to Peru, for a longer stay than in 2012 and 2013, has opened up the possibility of exploring areas still unknown, so as to taste all the sands of the country and to launch the Dakar on high bases. Demanding on the physical plane, sumptuous in terms of landscape, the Bolivian sequence will follow the adventurers in the register of extreme endurance. But there will still be decisive tests to be passed in Argentina, where the Dakar reaches its peak of difficulty, theoretically on the stage of Super Fiambala. This is where we will have to shine to triumph in Córdoba. ", Marc Coma-sports director of Dakar

Dakar 2018
Nasser Al-Attiyah, auto winner 2017

 

The race takes place for five categories: motorcycles, quads, cars, buggies and trucks. With regard to the motorcycle, this year 139 pilots were initially, for 29 countries represented. This fortieth edition begins in Peru, then passes through Bolivia before joining Argentina and Cordoba, the final arrival of the rally. This year, 7 steps out of the 14 are 100% off piste, and 5 days are happening at more than 3000 meters altitude! So today is the fourth day of the race, let's go back a little on the top three.

Dakar 2018
Sam Sunderland, winner Moto 2017

 

For the first stage of about 270 kilometers, connecting Lima to Pisco, the bikes rushed first. The amateurs left first while the elite Class (pros and Favorites to win) began last. The forty drivers taking part in the competition therefore left in the first batch, discovering the rally raid in the dunes with for some beautiful falls.

Dakar 2018
The galleys of the dunes

 

At the end of the first stage, it is the English Sam Sunderland, winner of the last edition, who takes the lead in the overall ranking. The first Frenchman, Adrien Van Bevere, finished fourth. Women are also in the spotlight, since the Spanish Laia Sanz finishes twelfth! On the side of the cars, it is Nasser Al-Attiyah, winner of the last edition, which carries out this first stage, while the French drivers of Peugeot, Stéphane Peterhansel and Sebastien Loeb, start more quietly, the second doing all Step without brakes!

Dakar 2018
Sebastien Loeb, French auto pilot

 

For the second stage, the cars were leaving before the bikes, so the car crews could not take advantage of the traces left by the bikers. A second short step of 280 kilometers followed by a third longer of 500 kilometers, during which Nami Roma, one of the favorites to victory car, was forced to abandon following a series of barrels. Today the fourth stage takes place, with a length of 450 kilometers, of which 330 of special.

Dakar 2018
A late-on motorcycle doubled by a car crew

 

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