Dakar 2024: Suspension due to fan crash, stage win for de Mevius

The first stage 46th Dakar Rally they had to stop at the very beginning. The motorcyclists started the race first. Then it was the turn of the cars. He should start first Brian Baragwanath, but the driver of the Century team did not arrive at the starting line in time.

Lionel Baud (Overdrive Toyota) finally started the stage, but after only 200 meters there was an accident in which he was an engaged spectator. The start of the speed test was canceled immediately. Baud returned to the starting line.

According to the organizer's first information, it is "the spectator was treated by a medical team and taken to a nearby hospital". According to the director of Dakar David Caster they found a tibia and femur fracture there. The race for motorists finally started after an hour's delay.

The day before, there was a tactical game in the prologue. Mattias Ekström (Audi) set the fastest time and decided on the tenth starting position. Defending champion Nasser Al-Attiyah (Prodrive) he deliberately slowed his ride to avoid a top ten finish.

Al Attiyah started today from 12th place. Carlos Sainz (Audi) had the same plan but his passenger luke cross made a navigation error. Then they lingered too long on the track because they miscalculated the time. As a result, Sainz finished the prologue in 48th place in the dust of many cars.

Still, it is Sainz showed a good performance today and finished the stage after 414 kilometers in second place. The Spaniard missed the stage victory by 1:44 minutes. The surprising winner of the first stage was Guillaume de Mevius (Overdrive-Toyota). The Belgian left all the favorites behind.

Among those who lost a lot of time on the first of a total of twelve stages were also their teammates from the Prodrive team Sebastien Loeb in Nasser Al-Attiyah. Both crossed the finish line in Al-Henakiyah more than 20 minutes behind de Mevius and outside the top ten.

The second stage on Sunday leads from Al-Henakiyah 662 kilometers in an easterly direction to Ad-Dawadimi. A long connecting section follows, followed by a 470-kilometer speed test. The first dunes await us.

Motorcyclists: Ross Branch winner of stage 1 after time credit

Ross Branch, a Team Hero rider, is the winner of the first stage in the motorcycle classification of the 2024 Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia. Driver from Botswana he didn't cross the finish line of the day's stage first, but was later awarded a time credit for providing first aid to a fallen competitor - the Honda rider and yesterday's winner Toshi Schareini.

Navigation on the stage was difficult from the very beginning. The competition took place on the terrain that Dakar v Saudi Arabia he has never traveled before. The participants also had to find their way among many extinct volcanic craters.

The categorized section covered 414 kilometers. The team Hero experienced a major accident after only 82 kilometers. Joaquim Rodrigues he fell badly. His teammates Sebastian Bühler and Joan Barreda Bort stopped to give him first aid.

When the helicopter with the doctors arrived, Rodrigues was already conscious. According to the first information, the Portuguese may have suffered a fracture. He was airlifted to a hospital in the city Al-'Ula.

Bühler in Barreda received a time credit for providing first aid after the stage. After 225 kilometres, Branch was leading the virtual intermediate classification before Pablo Quintanilla (Honda). Branch and Quintanilla then stopped to help Schareina, who won the prologue. According to initial information, Schareina broke his left wrist. He had to finish the race early.

The first Slovenian representative Toni Mulec finished the first stage in 29th place, but it is not clear what s Simon Marčič, which is not in the official results of the 1st stage.

We later learned that they were from Maribor saved from the route with by helicopter, Marčič and after the end of the stage he said: "Unfortunately, it ended the way I least wanted it to. At kilometer 40, after a jump on the motorcycle, the connection between the rear shock absorber and the front part of the engine frame broke, so I was practically without a shock absorber. I fought for another 300 kilometers, even though the bike kept sliding on the rear tank. I spent a lot of energy, standing all day to relieve the rear as much as possible. But about 60 km before the finish line, the engine completely failed because the shock absorber finally broke. Now I have no choice but to race for the best possible rankings in the individual stages. I'm very disappointed, but that's the way it is."

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