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2018-01-07 09:32

DOING THE DUNES: British biker Sam Sunderland powers his KTM, during the Stage 1 of the 2018 Dakar Rally between Lima and Pisco, Peru, on January 6, 2018. Sunderland won the Stage 1. Image: AFP / Franck Fife

Pisco, Peru - Britain's Sam Sunderland got the defence of his Dakar motorcycling title off to a winning start on Saturday when he won the opening stage of the 9,000km race from Lima to Pisco.

Sunderland, on a KTM, finished ahead of France's Adrien Van Beveren, on a Yamaha, and Pablo Quintanilla of Chile on a Husqvarna.

Just over 30 second lead

The British rider finished the 31km desert sprint in 20 min 56 sec with his rivals 32 sec and 55 sec further back.

The second stage of the two-week event takes place in and around the town of Pisco on Sunday.

Dakar Rally results on the opening stage from Lima to Pisco:


1. Sam Sunderland (GBR/KTM) 20:55
2. Adrien Van Beveren (FRA/Yamaha) at 33
3. Pablo Quintanilla (CHI/Husqvarna) 56
4. Joan Barreda Port (ESP/Honda) 57
5. Nani Roma/Alex Haro (ESP/Mini) 53
6. Matthias Walkner (AUT/KTM) 1:23
7. Xavier de Soultrait (FRA/Yamaha) 1:07
8. Daniel Nosiglia Jager (BOL/KTM) 1:33
9. Antoine Mo (FRA/KTM) 1:49
10. Kevin Benavides (ARG/Honda) 1:53


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