Dakar 2019: Sherco TVS scores first ever stage win
Michael Metge scored Indo-French outfit Sherco TVS’ first ever Dakar stage win on the penultimate day of the event, marking a huge milestone in India’s brief history in cross-country rallying.
Wednesday’s stage 9 comprised a 313 km route in Pisco and featured a unique mass start format, with riders leaving the start line in groups of 10.
Metge came through from the second group to take an unlikely stage win, beating his nearest competitor by two minutes.
The result moves him up to 22nd in the overall classification, one place ahead of teammate and brother Adrien, who was classified 20th in stage results.
Meanwhile, Aravind KP, the sole remaining Indian rider in Dakar, led his group for around 190km before running into alternator issues.
After receiving help from fellow riders, he was able to jump start his Sherco TVS bike and complete the stage in 55th position, while retaining 39th place in the general ranking.
Should he be able to clear the last hurdle, i.e. the final stage, he will become only the second Indian to finish the Dakar in its entirety.
#7 HERO Motorsports Team Rally: Oriol Mena
Photo by: Hero MotoSports Team Rally
Hero retains overall top 10
Meanwhile, Hero MotoSports team had its own reasons to celebrate as Oriol Mena and Joaquim Rodrigues put in another decent showing, finishing the penultimate stage in 10th and 18th position respectively.
With just 112 km of competitive remaining on Thursday, Mena holds ninth spot in the overall ranking and on course to secure his second consecutive Dakar finish inside the top 10.
"I am happy with my stage today," Mena said. "It was a mass start and there were all kinds of things happening around me, like guys going in wrong directions, losing way points, engines breaking up and so on.
"So I decided to shut myself off and do my own race with my own rhythm and flow. One more day in the book and now only one more day to Lima."
Rodrigues is currently classified 17th in the overall table and said he had to take it easy on Wednesday after suffering an early crash.
"Hard day today, I had a crash and damaged my bike a little bit," he said. "My back is still sore from yesterday so I decided to just take it easy and bring my Hero to the finish line safely.
"So difficult day today but we are across the finish line today with only one more day to go."
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About this article
|Drivers||Michael Metge , Aravind KP|
|Teams||Hero , Sherco Racing|