Dakar: Stage 1 Perfect start for Sunderland

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Lima to Pisco 52 mile timed special stage, 153 mile liaison

Britain’s Sam Sunderland made a perfect start to the 2019 Dakar in Peru, finishing the opening day fifth fastest meaning he is perfectly placed to attack on Tuesday’s longer stage.

The factory Red Bull KTM rider set a time of 1h 00m 56s finishing 2m 56s behind stage winner Joan Barreda onboard his Monster Energy Honda. 

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Tomorrow’s stage two is much longer and will see riders leave Pisco and head to San Juan. With a total of 343 miles to cover which includes a 212 mile Special Stage there will be plenty of opportunity to attack on the predominantly sandy stage.

Further down the field Malle Moto rider Max Hunt ended the opening stage with a time of 1h 17m 34s meaning he was 47thfastest and second in class.

Richard Main made a solid Dakar debut, completing the timed Special Stage of day one in 2h 14m 22s. Main was given a 20 minute time penalty but still holds 131stposition.

Stage two of Dakar 2019 will see the riders have to tackle some of Peru’s monster sand dunes as they leave Pisco and head to San Juan.

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Michael Guy

By Michael Guy

Sports Editor, former 250-racer and adventure rider