Qatar’s Al-Attiyah takes early Dakar lead

08 Jan, 2019 8:02 am

LIMA (Reuters) – Qatar’s Nasser Al-Attiyah led the Dakar Rally after the first timed stage through the Peruvian desert dunes from Lima to Pisco on Monday.

The two-times Dakar winner, driving for a South African Toyota team, led Spain’s reigning champion and double Dakar winner Carlos Sainz by nearly two minutes after the 84km opening stage.

Sainz, in an X-Raid Mini buggy, had started first of the car drivers but had to settle for second at the end of the day with Polish racer Jakub Przygonski a second behind in an X-Raid Mini 4×4.

“It was quite a short start to the rally but quite difficult. We tried to catch Carlos over the last 10 km from the finish,” said Al-Attiyah.

Spanish Honda rider Joan Barreda led the motorcycle category, one and a half minutes ahead of Chilean Pablo Quintanilla.

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