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★ Dakar 2020 - Stage 1: Jeddah > Al Wajh

Ferrari333SP

Well-Known Member
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Focus

Maps can be deceiving at first sight. What seemed an essentially coastal course turned out to be a surprising hodgepodge of terrains for competitors in the first stage of the Dakar. Even the last two winners of the Dakar, Nasser Al-Attiyah and Carlos Sainz, along with defending SSV champion "Chaleco" López, were blindsided by the rocky sectors near the end of the stage, leading to punctures that cost them several minutes apiece. The competitors only really felt the coastal wind on the liaison taking them to Al Wajh. The first to arrive will enjoy the refreshing breeze, but chilling winds await laggards who only reach the town in the evening… or after nightfall.

The essentials

Toby Price started 2020 picking back where he had left off in 2019 —with a stage win that made sure his opponents heard him loud and clear. The Australian with race number 1 is in no mood to relinquish his throne in Saudi Arabia. However, at only two minutes back, Ricky Brabec seems more than capable of taking the fight to KTM, unless Matthias Walkner (third today) goes back to his winning ways. This year's edition could be a bumper crop for Ignacio Casale, who showed that time has not blunted his edge in his return to quads, while Vaidotas Žala stunned the favourites to score an upset win in the car category. Stéphane Peterhansel, Carlos Sainz and Nasser Al-Attiyah are still within striking distance, unlike Jakub Przygoński, who was knocked out of contention for the general classification just a few kilometres into the race. Meanwhile, Aron Domżała defied the odds to claim his maiden Dakar stage win in Al Wajh and take over the lead in the SSV category. Finally, Kamaz found strength in numbers in the truck category, with Anton Shibalov becoming the first leader of the rally.

Performance of the day

Vaidotas Žala's debut in Saudi Arabia was not just a tour de force, it was a performance for the ages. The varied terrain and fiendish navigation of the inaugural stage appeared to rule out any surprises, but instead it witnessed the rise to fame of the newly crowned Lithuanian rally world champion. At the wheel of an X-Raid Mini, the 32-year-old added his name to the list of Dakar stage winners and proved that his auspicious 12th place in 2019 was no fluke.

A crushing blow

Romain Dumas was expecting so much more from his third participation in the Dakar. After a 2017 edition filled with promise for the three-time winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans (8th), the Frenchman had worked hard to make his RD Limited more competitive and pursue loftier goals in Saudi Arabia. However, it was precisely his machine that let him down, as his DXX based on the Peugeot 2008 DKR went up in flames after just 65 km of racing. So infuriating!

Stat of the day

Twenty. The number of stage wins by Ignacio Casale —the first quad rider to achieve this feat. The Chilean made a triumphant return to the category he had left in 2018… with a victory! Now this is what we call picking up where we left off.

Quote of the day

Toby Price: "My road book walked out on me after 15-odd kilometres, so it was strange. I was quite lucky in one way because I managed to follow on some dust and just keep up with the guys. Once the road book is gone, then you're pretty much driving blind. At the moment it looks good on paper, but I think we have a bit of a penalty coming. It's not the greatest start, but it's still a long rally to go. We're in good shape, we feel good on the bike and we're happy."

Category: Bikes - Quads - Cars - SxS - Trucks
Liaison: 433 km / 269 miles
Stage: 319 km / 198 miles



Schedule: *All times local time AST/GMT+3 (11 hours ahead of PST)
January 5th, 2020
Bikes: 07:20
Quads: 08:34
Cars: 09:20
SSV: 10:49
Trucks: 11:50

Quantity of participants:
Start of Rally: 144 - 23 - 83 - 46 - 46 - (342)

Timing and tracking:
Dakar.com
TrackingDakar.com

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"Creating the thread, as one hadn't been created yet, and not sure if Klaus will be making the rest"
thank you OP for sitting in while we snoozed to post Stage1 on time. The RDC community is amazing like that.
 

michael_loomis

Well-Known Member
Been a battle already. How does Ricky drop 5 mins and then make it back up right away.
 

michael_loomis

Well-Known Member
Crazy that Peterhansels wife was supposed to navigate for him and she got sick. He had to call someone up last minute. Hope she’s okay.
 

notime

NTR Films media guy
IMG_0490.jpg
 

ZequeArgentina

Well-Known Member
Really impressive start from Zala!!!
SSV fight is getting good!
Currey and Domzala for he win today, Despres were going good but missing in last wps
 

ZequeArgentina

Well-Known Member
Currie finally second position, 1 minute down Domzala. The last one had been leading with a good margin from a very late starting position (43 within SSVs), lost some 6 to 7 minutes in the last 15 km but still got the lead in day 1.
 

Desert Dog

Dakar Finisher
Nasser arrived at the bivouac COMPLETLY surrounded by security cars - more about an Arab hero (despite political issues between ksa and Qatar) and was great to see.
 

Curtis Guise

Administrator
Looks like the Minis has a great start.

Dakar Rally Overall Cars after SS1*
1. V. Zala (LTU) / S. Jurgelenas (LTU) MINI JCW Rally – 3h 19m 04s
2. S. Peterhansel (FRA) / P. Fiuza (POR) MINI JCW Buggy – 3h 21m 18s
3. C. Sainz (ESP) / L. Cruz (ESP) MINI JCW Buggy – 3h 21m 54s
4. N. Al-Attiyah (QAT) / M. Baumel (FRA) Toyota – 3h 24m 37s
5. B. Ten Brinke (NDL) / T. Colsoul (BEL) Toyota – 3h 25m 34s
 

michael_loomis

Well-Known Member
Looks like the Minis has a great start.

Dakar Rally Overall Cars after SS1*
1. V. Zala (LTU) / S. Jurgelenas (LTU) MINI JCW Rally – 3h 19m 04s
2. S. Peterhansel (FRA) / P. Fiuza (POR) MINI JCW Buggy – 3h 21m 18s
3. C. Sainz (ESP) / L. Cruz (ESP) MINI JCW Buggy – 3h 21m 54s
4. N. Al-Attiyah (QAT) / M. Baumel (FRA) Toyota – 3h 24m 37s
5. B. Ten Brinke (NDL) / T. Colsoul (BEL) Toyota – 3h 25m 34s
Slow and study wins the race. Haha. I know they aren’t “slow”... but think that this is Nassers rally to lose. Stage 1 kinda proves that.

Looks like Alonso is doing great. I look for him to get faster and more comfortable, until he gets too comfortable and crashes. But we will see!
 

michael_loomis

Well-Known Member
Mark, what is the weather like there currently?
 
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