CHALECO OPENS THE ROAD
FRANCISCO LOPEZ OBTAINS THE SECOND PLACE IN THE OPENING STAGE OF THE 20TH VERSION OF THE ABU DHABI DESERT CHALLENGE. THE CHILEAN RIDER, WHO HAS OPENED THE ROAD FOR THE LAST HUNDRED KILOMETERS, HAS FINISHED RIGHT BEHIND COMA. TOMORROW HE WILL START THE STAGE AFTER THE SPANIARD.
ABU DHABI- The Desert Challenge, the first race of the Cross Country Rally World Championship is underway with the first stage. Riders have left Abu Dhabi to get to the bivouac at the Moreed dune, which will be the starting point of the next four stages.
Today was a warm-up stage, a 286 km timed section, mainly fast, except for some dune cords that riders had to overcome.
Lopez started 7th this morning and he has gone full gas, arriving to the first Check Point (CP) with the second best time. In CP2, next to the special's finish line, Lopez signed the best time before Marc Coma, but over the last hundred kilometers, he found himself alone heading the special, opening the way.
Easy game for last year's winner Marc Coma, who started 22nd this morning (after applying the strategy to ride at a reduced speed during the Super Special yesterday to avoid opening today's timed section) and has taken advantage in the last part of the special.
Lopez, who went through the finish line first is second in the overall ranking, right behind the Catalonian rider, with a difference of 5'22'', and first of the 450 class.
A good day for the Chilean rider that in a stage of fast tracks and more adapted to a 690cc bike has been able to show his intentions. In the same way, his Aprilia RXV 4.5 has gone really fast and reached the incredible speed of 171km/h.
Tomorrow riders will enter in the Desert of Rub Al Kahli with the second stage: 386 kilometers with a timed section of 305km.
Francisco Lopez: "Today it was a very fast stage, with a little bit of dunes in the middle, but otherwise fast, definitely more adapted to the 690 and not the 450. However, my Aprilia has worked perfectly and I opened the track for the last hundred kilometers. Tomorrow we'll start the dunes. We will see how it goes."