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USA’s brightest hope in Dakar, Bryce Menzies, wrecks early in Stage 2 and is done for 2018

Bryce Menzies found out why the Dakar Rally is the toughest off-road racing competition in the world.

From fourth to fini.

That appears to be the case for American racer Bryce Menzies in the 40th Dakar Rally.

Menzies was an impressive fourth in the Cars class in the Rally’s opening round on Saturday.

But shortly into Stage 2 Sunday morning outside Pisco, Peru – just four miles into what was to be a 173-mile route for the day – Menzies and co-driver Peter Mortensen flipped their Mini – barrel rolling several times, according to witnesses.

From photos on social media, the Mini appears totaled and unable to be repaired.

Menzies and Mortensen were uninjured, and returned to their camp, their 2018 bid over before it ever really got started.

Menzies was fourth after Saturday’s 31-mile Stage 1, just 38 seconds behind leader and two-time Dakar winner Nasser Al-Attiyah.

With Menzies done, there remain just five other USA competitors in the Rally, all in the Motorcycle class. There are no other American competitors in any of the other three classes (Truck, Quad, SxS UTV).