Erick Blandin, has had to throw in the towel during stage 1. A fan of the Dakar since he was a little boy, he was eager to take part in his maiden Dakar after overcoming illness, but his hopes have been dashed by a nasty crash 204 kilometres into the stage.
Another crushing blow for Willy Jobard, who seems poised to withdraw from the Dakar for the fifth year in a row. The veteran biker, who was racing on a hybrid hydrogen-powered motorbike, will have to call it quits after hurting his left hip in a crash after 93 kilometres.
Sam Sunderland surged in the final part of the special to make up most of the 5-minute deficit he had with 50 kilometres to go, finishing the stage two minutes behind his victorious teammate and close to the leading group of favourites. Meanwhile, Xavier De Soultrait ran out of steam after a very strong start and finished sixth on the day.
Jhon Trejos is unable to keep going after hurting his right wrist in a crash at km 98. This will be his second premature exit from the Dakar.