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Andre Villas-Boas finishes 46th in Dakar Rally first stage

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  • Andre Villas-Boas has taken time out of football management for the Dakar Rally
  • The former Chelsea boss completed the first stage of the race on Saturday
  • Villas-Boas completed the 35km special stage through sand dunes in Peru
  • Qatar's two-time winner Nasser al-Attiyah leads the way with a 25-second lead

By Alan Baldwin, Reuters

Published: 19:54 EST, 6 January 2018 | Updated: 19:58 EST, 6 January 2018

Former Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas got his first taste of the Dakar Rally as he finished 46th in Saturday's opening stage.

Self-proclaimed petrol head Villas-Boas, whose uncle competed in the race between 1982 and 1984, is participating in his first rally and finished an opening day that wasn't without a crash or two 11 minutes behind Qatar's two-time winner Nasser al-Attiyah.

Al-Attiyah, driving a Toyota Hilux, ended the day with a 25-second lead over Dutch team-mate Bernhard ten Brinke after the 35km special stage through the sand dunes around Pisco, down the coast from Lima.

Andre Villas-Boas successfully completed his first Dakar Rally run on Saturday

Andre Villas-Boas successfully completed his first Dakar Rally run on Saturday

Villas-Boas is a self-proclaimed petrol head whose uncle also raced between 1982 and 1984Villas-Boas is a self-proclaimed petrol head whose uncle also raced between 1982 and 1984

Villas-Boas is a self-proclaimed petrol head whose uncle also raced between 1982 and 1984

The former Chelsea boss took his Toyota Overdrive car through the sand dunes of Lima, PeruThe former Chelsea boss took his Toyota Overdrive car through the sand dunes of Lima, Peru

The former Chelsea boss took his Toyota Overdrive car through the sand dunes of Lima, Peru

Two-time champion Nasser al-Attiyah holds a 25-second lead after the 35km first stageTwo-time champion Nasser al-Attiyah holds a 25-second lead after the 35km first stage

Two-time champion Nasser al-Attiyah holds a 25-second lead after the 35km first stage

'Motor racing is in my blood and has been my passion since I was a little boy,' Villas-Boas explained ahead of the event on Thursday, having also admitted he rented an altitude training tent 13,000 feet above sea level to aid his preparations for the race.

The endurance race, originally staged between Paris and Senegalese City Dakar until 2008, is famed for its treacherous terrains and dangerous courses having claimed the lives of 70 races since its inception in 1978.

And while the two leaders enjoyed a trouble-free run, nine-time world rally champion Sebastian Loeb had a harder time and was six minutes off the lead after suffering brake issues with his Peugeot.

The endurance race is famed for its treacherous conditions with many crashes incurredThe endurance race is famed for its treacherous conditions with many crashes incurred

The endurance race is famed for its treacherous conditions with many crashes incurred

British racer Sam Sunderland leads the motorcycle category and hold a 32-second leadBritish racer Sam Sunderland leads the motorcycle category and hold a 32-second lead

British racer Sam Sunderland leads the motorcycle category and hold a 32-second lead

Cristina Gutierrez Herrero gets into trouble as her Mitsubishi takes a tumble down a hillCristina Gutierrez Herrero gets into trouble as her Mitsubishi takes a tumble down a hill

Cristina Gutierrez Herrero gets into trouble as her Mitsubishi takes a tumble down a hill

Gutierrez's crash was testament to the complexity of a race that has claimed 70 livesGutierrez's crash was testament to the complexity of a race that has claimed 70 lives

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Gutierrez's crash was testament to the complexity of a race that has claimed 70 lives

The challenging terrain of Lima was known as a 'special stage' of the 15-day endurance raceThe challenging terrain of Lima was known as a 'special stage' of the 15-day endurance race

The challenging terrain of Lima was known as a 'special stage' of the 15-day endurance race

THE DAKAR RALLY

The Dakar Rally is an annual 5,500-mile off-road endurance race held in South America.

It was originally known as the 'Paris-Dakar Rally' but was relocated in 2009 due to security concerns.

Trucks, motorcycles, cars and quads are all welcomed into the race.

It is a majority amateur event, with some professionals also taking part.

The race lasts 15 days and the 2018 edition will commence on Saturday.

Loeb said his brakes failed after three kilometres of the stage, with the handbrake also failing.

'We went slowly, doing our best not to get stuck or bogged down,' said the Frenchman. 'There were dunes with steep descents, so I had to stop accelerating 200 metres before that to avoid any risks.

'It was quite tricky, driving without brakes is exasperating. It was a difficult start,' he told the dakar.com website.

Peugeot's reigning champion Stephane Peterhansel of France, who is chasing a 14th Dakar win, was in 11th place and two minutes 15 seconds off the pace.

In the motorcycles, defending champion Sam Sunderland led the way with a 32-second advantage over Yamaha's French rider Adrien van Beveren.

The competition is formed of car, motorcycle, quad and truck categoriesThe competition is formed of car, motorcycle, quad and truck categories

The competition is formed of car, motorcycle, quad and truck categories

Spectators helped some of the stranded competitors recover their vehicles from the dunesSpectators helped some of the stranded competitors recover their vehicles from the dunes

Spectators helped some of the stranded competitors recover their vehicles from the dunes

A total of 114 racers were making their debuts in the race out of the 523 entrantsA total of 114 racers were making their debuts in the race out of the 523 entrants

A total of 114 racers were making their debuts in the race out of the 523 entrants

The motorcycles will start after the cars in Sunday's second stage, a 267km loop that starts and ends in Pisco.

'Tomorrow, if we open the road, I know it will be very difficult, but I'm just really happy for today,' said al-Attiyah.

Of the 523 entrants in all categories, 114 were making their debuts in the 40th edition of the race, which ends in Cordoba, Argentina, on January 20.

Original Article

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