The 28th Dakar Rally is go At long last the wait is over as the 28th Euromilhoes Dakar Rally got under way in Lisbon, Portugal today. The first day's stage incorporated a 186km liaison stage followed by an 83km special stage, then another 101km...
The 28th Dakar Rally is go
At long last the wait is over as the 28th Euromilhoes Dakar Rally got under way in Lisbon, Portugal today. The first day's stage incorporated a 186km liaison stage followed by an 83km special stage, then another 101km liaison, finishing in Portimão, Portugal this evening.
After more than a year of preparations Dakar rookie Charley Boorman and the Race to Dakar team were relieved to be on their way to Senegal. The team who are riding BMW F650 GS bikes were also undoubtedly happy to have completed the first day without any major dramas.
"I couldn't believe how nervous I was at the start but as soon as I got off the line the nerves were replaced by pure excitement" enthused Boorman. "After blowing the cobwebs away on day one I just can't wait to get my teeth in to the rally tomorrow."
After a total of 370km on the first day Boorman is in 181st position with team mates Matt Hall and Simon Pavey in 185th and 186th places respectively. Both riders being as excited as Charley about what the next 15 days will hold.
"I had a slight problem with the bike today" explained Hall. "Charley was riding really well and it took everything I had to keep in touch but tomorrows a new day."
Race to Dakar team manager, Russ Malkin had a slightly different view on the first day's proceedings.
"It's an incredible feeling just to get to the start" said Malkin. "Bsut the relief I felt was soon replaced with the thought of the epic problems we could encounter over the next fortnight."
Also riding a BMW F650GS British privateer racer Nick Plumb had a great first day finishing in 70th position overall as the highest placed BMW.
The overall leader at this very early stage is French rider Cyril Despres who leads from the Spanish pair of Marc Coma and Isidre Esteve Pujol.
Tomorrow's 567km stage takes the competitors in to Spain as the route leaves Portimão and finishes in Malaga, Spain incorporating a 115km special stage.