History chasing Rautenbach wins Dakar Rally 2nd stage

TWO-TIME African rally champion Conrad Rautenbach won the second stage of the Dakar Rally SSV category on Monday while off-road motorcycle rider Graeme Sharp (KTM) rode in 77th.

Rautenbach experienced the misfortune of a tyre puncture in the second stage of the SSV Dakar Rally category on Monday but still stormed home in first place.

The Green Fuel general manager who entered a Can-Am Maverick X3 partnered by Portugal’s Pedro Bianchi Prata moved to seventh overall following the second stage win.

The 12-stage 2020 Dakar Rally kicked off on January 5 from Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and will cover a total of 7,856 kilometres of the most challenging terrain including deserts, high mountains and rocks.

The SSV category features the greatest number of former Dakar winners, all of which will be on the hunt for a podium place or stage wins.

Dancing with the sand: Graeme Sharp is the first Zimbabwean to compete in the Dakar Rally on a bike.

Elsewhere, Zimbabwe’s off-road motorcycle rider Graeme Sharp (KTM) finished 77th in the second stage of the two wheels Dakar Rally section on Monday.

He had finished 93rd in the first stage on Sunday that raced through 319km of Saudi Arabian desert along the Red Sea from Jeddah to Al Whjh.

Sharp received a 40-minute penalty after the first stage when he missed a checkpoint and had to start at the back of the field on the second stage.

Sharp said the Dakar represents his toughest challenge to date and his main aim is to get to the finish in Qiddiya on January 17.