The first stage of the Dakar Rally is already in the books, and it was a beautiful run along the coast filled with massive sand dunes.
Defending car champion Carlos Sainz was the first car to leave the line. This year, Sainz is behind the wheel of an X-Raid Mini, as his former Peugeot team did not return to Dakar.
Sainz did not win stage one though, as that honor went to Nasser Al-Attiyah in his Toyota. Sainz finished in second spot, a little over a minute slower than Al-Attiyah.
In third was Jakub Przygonski, another X-Raid Mini racer, finishing just one second slower than Sainz.
Seven-time Dakar winner Stephane Peterhansel suffered a tire puncture, putting him in seventh spot after day one.
In the moto category, Joan Barreda Bort finished with the fastest time of any vehicle, completing the stage in 57 minutes. Pablo Quintanilla finished in the second spot, one minute 34 seconds off the pace, while Ricky Brabec sits in third.
In the big trucks, the Kamaz Master team with Eduard Nikolaev behind the wheel was the quickest, though the Iveco team piloted by Ton Van Genugten is in second, just 18 seconds off the pace.
In the side-by-side class, last year’s winner Reinaldo Varela is in the top spot thanks to his Can-Am, followed by two competitors also in Can-Ams. In second spot is Francisco Lopez Conta.
Finally in the quad category, Nicolas Cavigliasso is in the lead, putting a solid three minutes between himself and second place Jeremias Ferioli.
You can see video updates on day one and watch all the action above and below!