We have to hand it to CS Santosh for being such a gritty and determined rider and really proving his mettle at the 2015 edition of the Dakar Rally. The 31-year old Bangalore based rider, riding a KTM Rally 450 for the Kini Red Bull Team, is really proving against all odds just how much fight he has in him. Despite the fact that the start to his first ever attempt at the Dakar Rally hadn’t been all that easy Santosh gained ground over his rivals, and managed to improve from 85th position to 50th. Once he was there, he continued running strongly, putting in good performances despite a couple of nasty falls off his motorcycle.
However, it was the sixth stage that led from Antofagasta to Iquique that proved to be the most challenging for Chunchunguppe Shivashankar, as he’s known in the official Dakar standings. Approximately 15km into the stage Santosh fell, with the motorcycle trapping his left foot under it. The result, a hairline fracture to the big toe on his left foot, unfortunately the foot needed to change gears. Santosh continued riding through the stage though, and managed to complete the stage. And he was, and is, determined to finish the Dakar come what may.
Well, he certainly proved his resilience as the Dakar progressed from Iquique to Uyuni. It wasn’t an easy stage for the motorcycle riders with a huge storm opening up over Uyuni making things extremely tricky for the riders. Santosh still managed to ride on and complete the stage 66th. This performance sees the rider break into the top 50 for the second time in this edition of the Dakar, currently ranked 49th overall in the motorcycle category. Santosh has a total time of 34hr 28min 43sec which is 8hr 47min 55sec behind the leader Joan Barreda Bort.
With the marathon stage on for motorcycle riders at the moment, things could get tricky. We’ll keep you posted on Santosh’s progress.
Photo credit: Shakedown Team