Nasser Al-Attiyah he was the happiest driver yesterday in the Dakar camp after seeing how he ran out of rivals at the first change. Everyone, with the exception of a Loeb who was fortunate enough to follow in his wake, got lost in the convoluted layout of the first stage and said goodbye to their chances of victory. Including a Carlos Sainz that exploded just after crossing the finish line, where he left more than two hours with respect to the leader.
“If so many people have been wrong, there must be something wrong, we are not all idiots,” pointed out the man from Madrid, visibly upset with what had happened on the first day of competition. An error in navigation, as happened to him already last year, jeopardized his chances of victory too soon.
The electric Audi of the Spanish lost the good course at a delicate point on the route, where most made a mistake. The crossing became a labyrinth of lines where it was difficult to find your way around. “We kept going back and forth, there were countless cars, motorcycles and quads doing the same thing. I don’t know… we weren’t able to find the way, neither we nor many people understood well what was happening. If the Dakar wants this to be like this and that on the first day of the race what happened happens … It’s a shameSainz explained, disappointed. Above all, because the car had behaved well, which was one of his great fears at this early stage. In fact, after halfway through the day he was riding comfortably in the top ten, but the trap at kilometer 250 caught him dramatically.
Nor could he get through the day with flying colors Nani Roma that he lost more than an hour with the leader. The Catalan joined his compatriot’s complaints about the errors in the road book. «Having a co-pilot like Alex Haro, which is very precise following the ‘roadbook’, has led us to return twice to the original point, to the point where we were clear that we were going well. We followed the instructions and they really weren’t right, but we have to accept it. Looking for the clue We almost ran into Carlos (Sainz). It has been very dangerous. When so many cars and so many motorcycles are lost … », pointed out Roma. Such was the chaos that some teams ruled out yesterday to file a claim with the organization, although it seems difficult for it to prosper.
In motorcycles, the Australian Sanders dominated from the beginning and took the stage victory. The Salamanca Lorenzo Santolino (Sherco) was the best Spaniard, seventh at 4:54 pm.
It is not being a quiet start for those responsible for the Dakar, who at the end of the day had to report that the marathon stage scheduled for tomorrow and the day after could not be played with that format due to the torrential rains of the last days in the area of Al Artawiyah. The special of the day will be the same, but instead the vehicles will be able to receive assistance from their teams and will not have to carry out the repairs themselves.