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Best Pictures From the 2018 Dakar Rally
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Best Pictures From the 2018 Dakar Rally

Picture of Luke Bradshaw
Sports Editor
Updated: 23 January 2018
This year’s Dakar Rally produced its usual collection of incredible moments, with some captured in a series of spectacular photographs.

Since January 6th, one of the world’s toughest races has seen bikes, quads, trucks and cars race across South America in a bid to write their name into the history books.

Starting in Lima, Peru, racing through Bolivia and finishing in Córdoba, Argentina, this year marked the 40th anniversary of the Dakar Rally. Stages can be as little as 31 km (19 miles), such as the first stage in 2018, right up to 927 km (576 miles), like the one that took competitors into Córdoba on the penultimate day of the race.

The rally has gained a reputation as one of the most dangerous motorsports in the world (70 people have died since the race was first held in 1978). It takes its name from the city in Senegal, which used to be the finish line (with Paris, France, as the start). It has since moved to South America after security problems in 2007, and the subsequent success of the event has led to South America cementing its status as the Dakar Rally home. Although the course changes each year, it always offers a mixture of terrains, with mountains, deserts and sand dunes all featuring.

This year saw legendary rally driver (and former two-time world champion) Carlos Sainz win his second Dakar Rally in the car category, eight years after his first title, while, in the truck category, Eduard Nikolaev won his fourth title – his second in a row after winning in 2017, also. The other winners were all first-time champions

2018 winners:

Car: Carlos Sainz, Lucas Cruz (Spain); Team Peugeot Total

Bike: Matthias Walkner (Austria); Red Bull KTM Factory Racing

Quad: Ignacio Casale (Chile); Casale Racing

Truck: Eduard Nikolaev, Evgeny Yakovlev, Vladimir Rybakov (Russia); Kamaz-Master

UTV (Utility vehicle): Reinaldo Varela, Gustavo Gugelmin (Brazil); South Racing-Can Am

Antoine Meo on his KTM of the Red Bull KTM Factory Team navigating in the sand  during stage 13 of the Dakar Rally, between San Juan and Cordoba, Argentina, on January 19, 2018. // Frederic Le Floc'h / DPPI / Red Bull Content Pool  // P-20180120-00028 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. //
Antoine Meo on his KTM of the Red Bull KTM Factory Team navigating in the sand during stage 13 of the Dakar Rally, between San Juan and Cordoba, Argentina, on January 19, 2018. // Frederic Le Floc'h / DPPI / Red Bull Content Pool // P-20180120-00028 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. // | © Red Bull Content Pool
Bryce Menzies at the SS3 during the Oilibya Rally, Morocco,  Arfud on October 08, 2017
Bryce Menzies at the SS3 during the Oilibya Rally, Morocco, Arfud on October 08, 2017 | © Red Bull Content Pool
Stephane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret in the Peugeot 3008 DKR Maxi of the Team Peugeot Total navigating through the dunes during stage 11 of the Dakar Rally, between Belen and Chilecito, Argentina, on January 17, 2018. // Eric Vargiolu / DPPI / Red Bull Content Pool // P-20180118-00009 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. //
Stephane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret in the Peugeot 3008 DKR Maxi of the Team Peugeot Total navigating through the dunes during stage 11 of the Dakar Rally, between Belen and Chilecito, Argentina, on January 17, 2018. // Eric Vargiolu / DPPI / Red Bull Content Pool // P-20180118-00009 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. // | © Red Bull Content Pool
Eduard Nikolaev, Evgenii Iakovlev and Vladimir Rybakov in the Kamaz of the KAMAZ Master Team waiting for help to get back the truck on his 4 wheels during stage 5 of the Dakar Rally, between San Juan de Marcona and Arequipa, Peru, on January 10, 2018. // Eric Vargiolu / DPPI / Red Bull Content Pool // P-20180110-01478 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. //
Eduard Nikolaev, Evgenii Iakovlev and Vladimir Rybakov in the Kamaz of the KAMAZ Master Team waiting for help to get back the truck on his 4 wheels during stage 5 of the Dakar Rally, between San Juan de Marcona and Arequipa, Peru, on January 10, 2018. // Eric Vargiolu / DPPI / Red Bull Content Pool // P-20180110-01478 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. // | © Red Bull Content Pool
Toby Price (AUS) of Red Bull KTM Factory Team races during stage 03 of Rally Dakar 2017 from Tucuman to Jujuy, Argentina on January 4, 2017
Toby Price (AUS) of Red Bull KTM Factory Team races during stage 03 of Rally Dakar 2017 from Tucuman to Jujuy, Argentina on January 4, 2017 | © Red Bull Content Pool
Ignacio Casale on his Yamaha quad of the Casale Motor Sport Team navigating in the vegetation during stage 8 of the Dakar Rally, between Uyuni and Tupiza, Bolivia, on January 14, 2018. // Frederic Le Floc'h / DPPI / Red Bull Content Pool  // P-20180115-00007 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. //
Ignacio Casale on his Yamaha quad of the Casale Motor Sport Team navigating in the vegetation during stage 8 of the Dakar Rally, between Uyuni and Tupiza, Bolivia, on January 14, 2018. // Frederic Le Floc'h / DPPI / Red Bull Content Pool // P-20180115-00007 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. // | © Red Bull Content Pool
Nasser Al-Attiyah at the SS2 during the Oilibya Rally, Morocco,  Arfud on October 07, 2017
Nasser Al-Attiyah at the SS2 during the Oilibya Rally, Morocco, Arfud on October 07, 2017 | © Red Bull Content Pool
Jakub Przygonski and Tom Colsoul in the Mini John Cooper Works Rally of the X-Raid Team crossing the river during stage 12 of the Dakar Rally, between Chilecito and San Juan, Argentina, on January 18, 2018. // Eric Vargiolu / DPPI / Red Bull Content Pool // P-20180118-01222 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. //
Jakub Przygonski and Tom Colsoul in the Mini John Cooper Works Rally of the X-Raid Team crossing the river during stage 12 of the Dakar Rally, between Chilecito and San Juan, Argentina, on January 18, 2018. // Eric Vargiolu / DPPI / Red Bull Content Pool // P-20180118-01222 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. // | © Red Bull Content Pool
Laia Sanz performs during her training session in Catalonia, Spain, on December 12th, 2017
Laia Sanz performs during her training session in Catalonia, Spain, on December 12th, 2017 | © Red Bull Content Pool
© Red Bull Content Pool
Toby Price on his KTM of the Red Bull KTM Factory Team navigating through the dunes during stage 2 of the Dakar Rally, between Pisco and Pisco, Peru, on January 7, 2018. // Eric Vargiolu / DPPI / Red Bull Content Pool // P-20180108-00112 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. //
Toby Price on his KTM of the Red Bull KTM Factory Team navigating through the dunes during stage 2 of the Dakar Rally, between Pisco and Pisco, Peru, on January 7, 2018. // Eric Vargiolu / DPPI / Red Bull Content Pool // P-20180108-00112 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. // | © Red Bull Content Pool
Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz in the Peugeot 3008 DKR Maxi of the Team Peugeot Total racing in the beach during stage 4 of the Dakar Rally, between San Juan de Marcona and San Juan de Marcona, Peru, on January 9, 2018. // Eric Vargiolu / DPPI / Red Bull Content Pool // P-20180110-00444 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. //
Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz in the Peugeot 3008 DKR Maxi of the Team Peugeot Total racing in the beach during stage 4 of the Dakar Rally, between San Juan de Marcona and San Juan de Marcona, Peru, on January 9, 2018. // Eric Vargiolu / DPPI / Red Bull Content Pool // P-20180110-00444 // Usage for editorial use only // Please go to www.redbullcontentpool.com for further information. // | © Red Bull Content Pool