cs santosh at dakar featured

The Dakar Rally needs no introduction but did you know that we have two Indian representations this year for the first time ever since the inception of the sport. One is the Sherco-TVS team running with international riders and then it is the lone Indian rider CS Santosh. The best part is that both are doing quite well. Santosh is truly showing his true mettle riding with a bloody nose and a fractured toe. We will be updating the below stats on a daily basis along with a quick few comments on the stage and anything special that needs to be mentioned. Of-course photographs too.

Stage 1 – Buenos Aires to Villa Carlos Paz – 838 kms (175 on sand)

Over all Ranking:

  • CS Santosh – 85
  • Sherco TVS – with rider Alain Duclos – 05

Stage 2 – Villa Carlos Paz to San Juan – 625 kms (518 on sand)

Over all Ranking:

  • CS Santosh – 49
  • Sherco TVS – with rider Alain Duclos – 12

Stage 3 – San Juan to Chilecito – 657 kms (220 on sand)

Over all Ranking:

  • CS Santosh – 53
  • Sherco TVS – with rider Alain Duclos – 11

Stage 4 – Chilecito to Copiapo – 909 kms (315 on sand)

Over all Ranking:

  • CS Santosh – 50
  • Sherco TVS – with rider Alain Duclos – 09

Stage 5 – Copiapo to Antofagasta – 697 kms (458 on sand)

Santosh has a crash with bleeding nose. Continues race to finish 56th on that particular stage.

Over all Ranking:

  • CS Santosh – 51
  • Sherco TVS – with rider Alain Duclos – 11

Stage 6 – Antofagasta to Iquique – 688 kms (319 on sand)

Santosh has a hairline fracture on his toe from previous days crash continues to ride with pain medications and some injections.

Over all Ranking:

  • CS Santosh – 52
  • Sherco TVS – with rider Alain Duclos – 09

Stage 7 – Iquique to Uyuni – 717 kms (321 on sand)

In stage 7 and 8 riders need to service/repair bike on their own, no service crew allowed.

Over all Ranking:

  • CS Santosh – 52
  • Sherco TVS – with rider Alain Duclos – 09

Rest day – One day rest for bike riders of the Dakar

Stage 8 – Uyuni to – Iquique – 805 kms ( 781 on sand)

Over all Ranking:

  • CS Santosh – 42
  • Sherco TVS – with rider Alain Duclos – 07
  • Sherco TVS – with rider Fabien Planet – 15

Stage shortened to 378 km due to the poor weather conditions.

CS Santosh makes a huge leap in overall rankings.

Second Sherco TVS rider breaks into top 20.

Stage 9 – Iquique to Calama – 539 kms ( 451 on sand)

Over all Ranking:

  • CS Santosh – 42
  • Both Sherco TVS riders drop off from the top 20.

Stage 10 – Calama to Marathon- 891 kms ( 371 on sand)

Over all Ranking:

  • CS Santosh – 36
  • Sherco TVS – with rider Alain Duclos – 14
  • Sherco TVS – with rider Fabien Planet – 20
  • Sherco TVS rider start hunting the top pack with strong performances
  • CS Santosh just keeps getting better as the race enter the final few stages

Stage 11 – Marathon to Termas Rio Hondo – 512 kms ( 351 on sand)

Over all Ranking:

  • CS Santosh – 36
  • Sherco TVS – with rider Alain Duclos – 19
  • Sherco TVS – with rider Fabien Planet – 30
  • Sherco TVS riders not able to continue their initial strong run
  • CS Santosh continues strong run, hopes pinned on a top 30 finish now
  • Only about half the bikes that started the Dakar Rally now remain in competition.

Stage 12 – Termas Rio Hondo to Rosario – 1024 kms ( 298 on sand)

Over all Ranking:

  • CS Santosh – 34
  • Sherco TVS – with rider Alain Duclos – 25
  • Sherco TVS – with rider Fabien Planet – 29
  • CS Santosh continue strong run. Top 30 looks tough but possible.
  • Sherco TVS riders clearly facing consistency issues. But holding the top 30.
  • CS Santosh is grabbing all the attention abroad as he is one doing absolutely great for a first time rider at the Dakar.
  • CS Santosh shares his spare tyre set with KTM factory rider Marc Coma.
  • Just one more stage remains.

Stage 13 – Rosario to Buenos Aires – 393 kms ( 174 on sand)

Over all Ranking:

  • CS Santosh finishes a super awesome 36 in his first ever attempt at the Dakar. A race where just completing the race is an awesome feat.
  • Sherco TVS Rider Alain Duclos finishes at 25 and Fabien Planet finishes at 29.

CS Santosh is the first Indian ever to participate at the Dakar Rally and the first Indian ever to finish. This down to earth man sure is made of a different mold than the rest of us. He makes us Indians proud, he has shown that our country has talent and talent that can perform at the highest levels. Congrats Mr. CS Santosh. Hope to see you at the Dakar again next year.

CS Santosh

“I’ve shown that it’s possible, an Indian can do it too. I hope there’ll be more of us in the future.”