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CS Santosh finishes Dakar Rally Day 1 in 13th, but team loses Joaquim Rodriguez

CS Santosh ended Day 1 of the Dakar Rally, but his Hero MotoSports teammate and senior-most rider of the team Joaquim Rodriguez was ruled out due to an accident.

other sports Updated: Jan 08, 2018 15:28 IST
Abhishek Paul
Abhishek Paul
Hindustan Times, Pisco
CS Santosh,Dakar Rally,Hero MotoSports
CS Santosh, Hero MotoSports Team Rally Rider at the flag-off of Dakar 2018 in Lima in Peru. He finished Day 1 of the Dakar Rally in 13th position. (HT Photo)

CS Santosh, competing in his fourth Dakar Rally, had a good start to the 9000 km race and finished Day 1 in the 13th position on Saturday. However, the Indian rider’s team Hero MotoSports got a big jolt as its senior-most member Joaquim Rodriguez was ruled out due to an accident.

The Portuguese rider had finished 12th in the 2017 edition and his departure on the opening day came as a shock for team Hero Motosports. Their third rider Oriol Mena is at the 22nd position.

Another Indian rider KP Aravind, competing for TVSRacing, is at the 30th position after stage 1.

Rodriguez’s accident

Rodriguez’s accident happened during stage 1 when he was going up a slope. He could not adjust his bike well as it jumped off to land awkwardly on the sand dune, causing Rodriguez to fall. He suffered injuries in his wrist and back.

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Though he is safe and injury was not major, he was deemed misfit to continue competing for the rest of the rally.

Santosh’s good show

Santosh was the team’s best performer as he was able to maintain a top 15 position on Day 1. However, the 34-year-old rider, who is competing in his fourth Dakar, reminded all that it just the start of the 9000km race.

“Today we had to do only a small stretch. Tomorrow it will be over 200 km and I need to put in as much focus as possible. I will be concentrating on understanding the roadmap well for now so that I don’t get off-route,” he said.

The 2018 Dakar will take place in three countries - Peru, Bolivia and Argentina. There will be 14 stages overall and the bike riders will face two marathon stages, where their team will not be able to assist them. In case of machine failure, the riders will have to solve the issue themselves.

First Published: Jan 07, 2018 11:26 IST