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Dakar 2019: Santosh breaks in to Top 20 on Day 1

The Dakar 2019 has officially begun, with competitors completing the first day which consisted of 247km of transport and 84km of special stages between Lima and Pisco, in Peru. Team HRC’s Joan Barreda Bort took the lead in the motorcycle class, while two-time Dakar winner Nasser Al-Attiyah with the Toyota Gazoo racing team topped the charts for the cars.

This year’s stages are going to be held on sand for most of the time, and the first day was no different. Barreda finished the stage 57 minutes and 36 seconds, putting him at the top of the charts. He was closely followed by Pablo Quintanilla from the Husqvarna factory team and his HRC teammate Ricky Brabec in third. The KTM trio of Sam Sunderland, Toby Price and Matthias Walkner were in fifth, sixth and seventh place respectively behind Yamaha’s Van Beveren in fourth.

The two teams from India also finished strongly. Sherco TVS Racing’s new signing Michael Metge is placed at 12th, while Hero’s best finisher from last year Oriol Mena is at 14th. CS Santosh has also put in a great start to his fifth campaign by ending the day at 20th, a few places ahead of his teammate J-Rod who is in 23rd. Sherco-TVS’ Adrien Metge and Lorenzo Santolino are in 24th and 25th. Aravind KP, who is making a comeback to racing after a long hiatus due to an injury took it easy on the first day, and finished 71st. In the cars class, Carlos Sainz is placed second behind Al-Attiyah in his Mini JCW buggy, with Jakub Przygonski in third.

The competitors will start Stage 2 later today at 7:04PM IST (for motorcycles), and have a shorter liaison of 211km but a massive 342km of special stage ahead of them.

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