Dakar Rally 2018: Winners, Final Results and Reaction

Dakar Rally 2018: Winners, Final Results and Reaction

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Carlos Sainz and Peugeot won the 2018 Dakar Rally in the cars category after the 14th and final stage was completed in Argentina on Saturday. Sainz and teammate Lucas Cruz stayed atop the general classification despite not winning either of the last two stages.

Instead, Giniel de Villiers won Stage 14 a day after former Dakar champion Nasser Al-Attiyah had won Stage 13.

Meanwhile, Matthias Walkner made it 17 wins in a row in the bikes category for Red Bull KTM Factory Racing. Home favourite Kevin Benavides was victorious in the final stage, but it wasn’t enough to knock Walkner off top spot in the overall standings.

Ignacio Casale finished as the overall winner on the quads, while Reinaldo Varela hung on to be crowned champion in the SxS event, despite being pipped by Argentinian Leo Larrauri in the final stage.

Finally, Eduard Nikolaev finished first in the Trucks event.

Here are the updated standings for each of the events:

 

 

 

 

It’s Sainz’s second Dakar win and is more than justified, despite his ninth-placed finish on the final day. Overall, though, the Spaniard has been a class apart over the course of the rally.

The 55-year-old couldn’t win in Peru, but he claimed two stage wins in Bolivia. Sainz’s consistency was best underlined by his 44-minute advantage of Al-Attiyah in the final standings, per Valentin Khorounzhiy of Autosport.com.

Sainz has ensured Peugeot made the most of their final participation in Dakar, with the team tweeting congratulations to their victorious drivers:

Meanwhile, Sainz’s son also posted this message to honour his father’s achievement:

Sainz’s title win rendered De Villiers’ impressive victory in Stage 14 moot, even though he outpaced Sainz’s teammate Stephane Peterhansel by 40 seconds.

Toyota driver De Villiers may have ultimately come up short, but by staying in touch with decorated veterans like 47-year-old Al-Attiyah and former double World Rally Champion Sainz, the Toyota driver has proved his credentials as a potential future Dakar champion.

One rider who has always made the most of this rally is Walkner. The 31-year-old Austrian has dominated at this year’s event, but Red Bull KTM Factory Racing have made winning common and lauded their latest triumph:

There was more personal history for Walkner, who became the first Austrian Dakar winner.

Away from the bikes, Nikolaev has also got used to winning in the trucks event. The Russian rally raid driver has now won three Dakar trophies after a fourth-placed finish kept him ahead in the general classification.

Unlike many of the other champions, Casale managed a win in Stage 14 of the quads. He finished clear of Nelson Sanabria on Saturday while remaining in front of Nico Cavi in the GC.

Brazilian Varela was another champion who finished strongly, coming in second to the impressive Laurrari on the final day.

Breaking Sports News

via Bleacher Report – Front Page http://ift.tt/yO6Sgr

January 20, 2018 at 10:58AM

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