by M.C. – photo: dakar.com | The Dakar Rally is always full of surprises. This unpredictability, together with its breath-taking scenery, is what makes it such an appealing competition with a loyal and passionate following. The past, 2017 edition which took place between 2nd and 14th of January was no exception. Most remarkable was the decision to shorten three of the stages as well as cancelling another two (the sixth and ninth) due to adverse weather conditions.
There were 316 drivers initially signed up for the race but, as expected, last Dakar also left a few casualties along the way. Nasser Al-Attiyah, Toby Price (in motorbikes) and Carlos Sainz among others, all had to abandon the race prematurely. There were also some accidents and various other incidents such as Stephane Peterhansel’s crash with bike rider Simon Marcic which gave the latter a fractured leg.
‘Monsieur Dakar’ continues to make history
The competition had of course its winners and losers for each of the categories. In cars, the French man Stephane Peterhansel or as he has come to be known ‘Monsieur Dakar’, managed to keep up to his legend achieving his seventh title in the category (his thirteenth if we count the other six motor bike titles under his belt), and the last two with Peugeot. His fellow countrymen and team-mates, Sebastien Loeb and Cyril Despres were with him on the podium.
In bikes, the British KTM rider Sam Sunderland go this first global victory and made history at the same time for being the first English winner of the most famous rally in the world. The Austrian Matthias Walkner and the Spaniard Gerard Farres, both of them with KTM, made up the top of the classification. Russia took the top prizes for quad and truck with Sergei Kariakin and Eduard Nikolaev at the wheel respectively.