Two-time King of the Desert David Walsh (#1) has prevailed on Race Day 1 at the 2022 Tatts Finke Desert Race, reaching the Finke (Aputula) checkpoint fastest in the Bike category.
Having secured a third-place start during Prologue yesterday, Walsh controlled the pace of the race during the first 226 kilometre leg from Alice to Finke (Aputula), clocking a time of 1 hour, 46 minutes, and 10.3 seconds.
The hometown hero was a mere 0.7 seconds adrift of his Race Day 1 time in 2021, yet gapped the field by 3.06 minutes as he hunts his third consecutive King of the Desert crown in the Bike category.
Method Race Wheels Prologue Day winner Jacob Smith (#9) crossed the line in Finke (Aputula) in second, with Jack Simpson (#2) just 43.2 seconds behind to complete the Top 3.
Also climbing 10 spots from their Prologue starting position to the Finke (Aputula) checkpoint was Luke Hayes (#12) who finished sixth, pipping Sam Davie (#298) in seventh by 10.3 seconds.
Eighth across the line was Ben Grabham (#721) who edged Rick Ireland (#4) in ninth, while Corey Hammond (#236) completed the Top 10 with a time of 1 hour 56.23 minutes.
Competitors will now camp overnight at the checkpoint before departing Finke (Aputula) for Alice Springs tomorrow morning (Monday, June 13) at 11.45am local time.
The first bike is expected to make its arrival at the Start/Finish line in Alice Springs at approximately 2.00pm local time.
The 2022 Kings of the Desert for the Bike category will be crowned after competitors complete the return journey to Alice Springs tomorrow.