Mexican rider Pablo Guillen has started the 2020 Sonora Rally strongly by claiming 4th place in the opening stage.
Pablo is the Coca-Cola Energy/Nomadas Adventure teammate of Albury international Andrew Houlihan.
The two riders raced together in the 2020 Africa ECO Race and will compete together again later in the year as they both prepare for the 2021 Dakar Rally.
Riding an Husqvarna TE 500, Pablo finished stage 1 just 8 minutes and 10 seconds behind 2020 Dakar winner Ricky Brabec.
The 5 day rally is held in the state of Sonora, Mexico’s second largest state. With a sparse population, diverse economy and a spectacular mountainous and arid landscape, Sonora gives competitors the perfect environment for a true Dakar style adventure.
The 228km first stage took competitors from the start in the state’s capital Hermosillo north east to the town of Banamichi.
Along the way the riders climbed to around 1800 metres above sea level as they passed through San Felipe de Jesus – a township named after Mexico’s first saint and Franciscan martyr, Saint Philip of Jesus.
Australian rider Matthew Sutherland is also competing in the event and finished the stage in 6th place. The KTM rider was just under 4 minutes behind Pablo and 20 minutes 39 seconds off the leader Skyler Howes.