TRANSITION DAY FOR THE REPSOL RIDERS IN EGYPT
Jordi Viladoms fourth, Marc Coma sixth and Carlo De Gavardo seventh in an incidence-free day
Coma starting first, Viladoms second and de Gavardo fourth, today's stage was a stage with a lot to loose and little to win. It was obvious that the riders coming from behind would catch those in the front so neither Coma nor Viladoms tried to take any unnecessary risks in a stage that was liable for something like this to happen. Casteu joined the Spanish riders shortly after the start and they rode together until the finish. De Gavardo rode in the second group together with Ullevalseter, De Azevedo and Lopez among others. Despite the three Repsol riders having lost some of the advantage today, they are still leading the overall standings with a comfortable advantage, Coma first, Viladoms second and De Gavardo third.
Stage 5: Bahariya-Siwa. 380 Km.
This special presented a large variety of landscapes and grounds. The start was located nearby the Bahariya bivouac, to the west, but the route immediately turned to north to enter a fast track that took participants to CP1. The ground they found was partially stony and combined twisted with fast sections. Once they had crossed the road leading from Bahariya to Siwa, the landscaped changed again and the terrain became sandy, to cross some chains of dunes in north western direction, on soft and yielding sand. After the dunes, the route became more visible with a rather bumpy ground, although there also were some off-track sections. More dunes after CP2 and in CP3 they had an assistance and refuelling point. Then the ground changed again and for more than 30 km they crossed the fascinating dunes of Ghrud El Surah, to then access an ancient caravan way dating back to pharaoh time connecting Bahariya to Sitra and Siwa.
Jordi Viladoms: "The day began a bit complicated because there was a section that was similar to the stage yesterday and we had a bit of trouble, so David Casteu, Marc and I rode together from the early kilometres of the stage, opening the trail to the finish. We were able to open a sufficiently big gap to the others but Marc and I finally finished in back positions. However that's not bad because tomorrow we're going to start from back positions and we will be able to recover tomorrow everything we lost today."
Marc Coma: "Today was a long stage, 370 km, that had some dunes towards the end. I made a little navigation mistake after the start and then we continued in the lead in group, with David Casteu and Jordi Viladoms. The truth is that I'm happy, we've passed another day and we've managed to keep the distances and that's the most important."
Carlo De Gavardo: "Today has been a quite difficult day. A few kilometres after the start, we started to ride around trying to find a waypoint. In only a few minutes there were many of us doing it until Casteu managed to find it. Then, towards the end, we started to get closer together and together with Ullevalseter and Jean Azevedo we continued together until the finish. It hasn't been a good day in general terms. However I've managed to keep my third place in the overall standings, thanks to the advantage of the previous days. We hope that tomorrow everything will work out better and without complications."