The first stage proved to be quite tough for some riders as it was a sandy special, but not for the youngest rider on the U.S. Red Bull KTM Dakar Team. Kellon Walch (number 21) soared to a very impressive fifth position. Teammate, Chris Blais (number 22) and Scot Harden (number 17) rode conservatively and placed 38th and 61st respectively.Scot Harden, US Red Bull KTM Dakar Team manager and rider, said, “The weather has been good, cold at night but it warms up during the day. We are all anxious to get on the road today and finally get into Africa in the next couple of days. Rumor has it things will get very tough in the middle stages of the Rally. There is an enormous field of competitors. The parc ferme is huge. Over 2,000 people will participate in the Rally.”He also wanted to wish everyone a Happy New Year.Day Two of the 2005 Telefonica Dakar consisted of a very long day for all competitors as a 920km liaison to Granada was run. 200,000 fans cheered the Dakar challengers on.Stage 3 was run today from Granada to Rabat in a 573km trip. According to the Dakar website, “Before the crossover to Africa, Europe hosted a last Telefonica Dakar 2005 show for the numerous Andalusian fans with a 10km special just outside Granada. After the long 920km liaison, the competitors faced a dirt track in Armilla before heading to Morocco and its capital Rabat, via a boat transfer from Algeciras to Tangiers.”Kellon Walch celebrated his birthday today by locking himself into the 10th position, 3rd overall. Teammates Chris Blais finished in fifteenth position today, securing the 23rd overall position, and Manager, Scot Harden finished today in 14th position, sheltering a 35th overall position.Scot Harden called to say, “Today (January 2nd) we are on the boat heading to Africa. The team is doing really well, the bikes are working well and everything is good for us. We just finished the 920 km stage in the freezing cold going to Granada, now on the boat for the transfer section, and we’re just excited to get into Africa.”On January 3rd, Stage 4 will consist of a journey to Rabat to Agadir with a total of a 666km round trip.On January 4th, Stage 5 will host the Agadir to Smara stage with the total of a 654km round trip.