DOMINANCE OF THE REPSOL RIDERS IN THE FIRST LEG OF THE PHARAONS RALLY Jordi Viladoms clinches his first stage victory in a raid, followed by teammate Marc Coma only one second behind Egypt Rally. Leg 1. El Cairo - Baharija. 340 Km. The first...
DOMINANCE OF THE REPSOL RIDERS IN THE FIRST LEG OF THE PHARAONS RALLY
Jordi Viladoms clinches his first stage victory in a raid, followed by teammate Marc Coma only one second behind
Egypt Rally. Leg 1. El Cairo - Baharija. 340 Km.
The first SS of the Pharaohs Rally in Egypt was staged today, with the presence of Repsol KTM team riders Marc Coma and Jordi Viladoms. Today's special started 60 km from the exotic city of Cairo covering several tracks close to many oasis, with the finish of the long stage in the city of Baharija. Outstanding performance of the Repsol riders Jordi Viladoms and Marc Coma, who clinched today their first one-two finish with the highlight of Viladoms' first stage victory.
The first sector to be covered between the start and the first control point -- CP 1 at km 60.12-, the riders have faced a fairly marked fast track, will some undulations and surrounded by enormous petrified tree trunks. Halfway the sector, they have crossed some small dunes, which helped as a warm-up for the routes to come in the next stages. >From CP2, the special stage set off towards the dunes of Ghard el Rammak, which had to be crossed after coasting them after CP3. From that point, the track became more and more demanding getting closer to CP4, where the route took them to a big sandy ouadi sloping down forcing them to slow down the pace. All of this was accompanied by some fesh-fesh and spectacular passages between dunes. Finally and after crossing the road leading from Baharija to Farfara, the Pharaons Rally reached the finish of the first leg in Baharija.
The first to take the start today was French rider Casteu, followed by Marc Coma and Viladoms who started fourth. At the first refuelling point, Coma passed Casteu just before the latter had a light crash that left him definitely behind the current Raids World Champion. Riding solitary, Marc set a good pace until the finish. In the back, team mate Viladoms managed to overtake Ullevalseter, third at the start, shortly before the refuelling. Being third, Viladoms managed to overtake Casteu a bit later because the French rider had had problems with the fuel. The final sprint of the young Repsol rider allowed him to cross the finish line with an advantage of one second over team mate Marc Coma, thus clinching his first stage victory. A perfect day for the riders of the Repsol KTM Team achieving a successful one-two finish in the first day of this prestigious raid.
Jordi Viladoms: "I'm very happy because it's my first stage win in a rally. Today was an easy stage and very fast. I started from the fourth position and was able to move up position because it was easy. I only won by one second but I'm very happy for the victory anyway."
Marc Coma: "This first stage has been quite long, 340 km, and it's been the first contact. It's been a nice and enjoyable stage. The ground was the usual ground of this rally, taking us from Cairo to Bajarija on a fast track with gradient changes. I took the lead over at km 100 and opened the track. I'm happy with the pace I had and with the result. It has been long time since we had been racing in the desert and it is good to get back the rhythm. I want to congratulate Jordi Viladoms for his first stage victory in Africa. This is good, especially if it's your team mate. The team is working well and we hope to finish the rally in the same way we have started."