Sunday 3 January 2021, Jeddah: the Dakar 2021 has started, with 70 km of stones, therefore very technical, almost typical of an enduro stage.
The mish-mash of tracks in the first part of the course required laser-like focusing and got the best of riders like Ricky Brabec.
The Italians did well but not very well, with Maurizio Gerini in 37th position, followed by Picco (60), Zacchetti (62), Interno (63). Before reaching Bisha, the competitors who emerged unscathed from these first dangers took a breather in the first sandy stretch of the race, which was much easier and more forgiving towards their tires… and their nerves.
Oscar Polli's comment
It was visible from the maps that the first stage would have been characterized by many stones, sand and the nearby chain mountainous, which rises up to 2000 meters above sea level. A very technical and tough test where Castera immediately wanted to make a selection, putting those who were not sufficiently prepared for a real "African" stage in difficulty. Even navigation, with the new rules, marked the pace of the race and created quite a few problems: the management of the roadbook in particular, at the fuel stop, contributed to this "natural selection".
Lorenzo Piolini speaks of '' Impact with reality quite hard, I expected a little more sliding slopes, and instead this almost nauseating stone bed has destabilized us a bit at all, but even these surprises are part of this extreme race '' '. About 3% of stones had been declared, while in the opinion of many Italian riders the sections of rocks were much more present in percentage ratio within the stage.
Navigation without great difficulty, just a small mistake that made him lose 10 minutes. There motorcycle it performed well even if it needed a setting for the front suspension due to the hard ground which is expected to be present in other stages in the next few days. The only drawback, a penalty for speed, but that's okay as a whole he feels satisfied.
Photo by Charly Lopez ASO