Dakar Rally – Stage One
The 2014 Dakar Rally gets underway with HRC Honda’s Joan Barreda securing victory on stage one. Behind the Spaniard, KTM’s Marc Coma and defending champion Cyril Despres followed him home for second and third.
Ensuring four different manufactures filled the top four positions at the end of day one Sherco mounted Alain Duclos edged out Paulo Goncalves (Honda) to set the fourth fastest time.
With Stage One – Rosario to San Luis – easing riders into the race with a 180km special it was Barreda, starting third on the road, who came home in two hours 25 minutes to top the time sheets on the opening day.
“It’s been a great day,” told Barreda. “I’m really pleased for the first win with Honda, especially for the team that has worked so hard the whole year to produce this new bike.
“I’m really happy to have begun the Dakar like this. Today was a tough one. I managed to get off really well in the second part, keep up a good pace and get a result in the end.”
Returning to the Dakar following a year’s absence, Marc Coma ended stage one 37 seconds behind Barreda in second.
As the defending champion, Despres led the field away. He ended his day third fastest.
Grabbing the surprise result of the day, Duclos caught Goncalves and Chaleco Lopez unaware to finish fourth. Considering Duclos has not raced since the last edition, stage one’s performance was impressive. Results – Dakar Rally 2014
Stage 1: Rosario to San Luis
1, Joan Barreda, Spain, Honda, 2 hours 25:31
2, Marc Coma, Spain, KTM at 37 seconds
3, Cyril Despres, France, Yamaha at 1:40
4, Alain Duclos, France, Sherco at 1:56
5, Paolo Goncalves Portugal, Honda at 2:25
6, Chaleco Lopez, Chile, KTM at 3:24
7, Joan Pedrero, Spain, Sherco, 3:47
8, Michael Metge, France, Yamaha, 4:33
9, Sam Sunderland, UK, Honda, at 4.33
10, Alessandro Botturi, Italy Speedbrain 4:48