January 1 | Stage 1 | Sea Camp – Sea Camp | Distance Total / Special: 602.56 km / 367 km
– The 2023 Dakar Rally wasted no time in serving up drama on the sands of Saudi Arabia as Sunday’s Stage One saw the bike race’s defending champion crash out, while fresh-faced challengers excelled.
– New Year’s Day brought with it an ultra-tough 368km loop stage around Dakar Rally’s SeaCamp in Yanbu with motorsport legend Carlos Sainz claiming his 42nd Dakar stage win in anAudi RS Q e-tron E2 alongside co-driver Lucas Cruz. The 60-year-old said: “We had one puncture at the beginning, so after that, we proceeded with caution over the stones.”
– Sadly Briton Sam Sunderland’s defence of his bike title ended 52km into the stage with 2020winner Ricky Brabec topping the timesheets leaving Red Bull KTM Factory Racing duo KevinBenavides and Toby Price within a minute of him as well as Australian Daniel Sanders whosaid, “I kept clear of any big mistakes and just kept cruising, it was fun out there.”
– Chilean Chaleco López’s new Dakar has started where his last one finished, in the overall leadof the T3 category as the defending champion took the stage win for the Red Bull Can-AmFactory Team alongside co-driver Juan Pablo Latrach while Rokas Baciuška and Oriol Vidaldelivered another winning result in the T4 category. The Lithuanian said: “This was just the first stage, but it