GOOD AND BAD RESULTS FOR THE REPSOL RIDERS IN EGYPT
Marc Coma and Jordi Viladoms strengthen their leading positions in the overall standings. Carlo De Gavardo has a strong crash and retires after being diagnosed a fracture in his left leg by the doctors
Starting from back positions, the Repsol riders began the day with the advantage of having a group of riders ahead who would serve them as a reference in order to recover the time lost yesterday. The several dunes also helped to quickly create a large group of riders including the three Repsol riders Coma, Viladoms and De Gavardo. The day went on normally until the unlucky crash of De Gavardo -- third in the overall standings -- between CP2 and CP3, leaving the Chilean rider badly hurt on the ground. The rest of the group did not notice he moment when the Repsol rider crashed since he was riding in last position, so the riders of the following group where the ones who found De Gavardo. The Chilean has a fracture of the femur in his left leg and he is right now on his way to Cairo to treat his injury as soon as possible. Marc Coma took another stage victory with one day left for the end of the raid, while team mate Jordi Viladoms also manage to strengthen his second position in the overall standings. The riders will face tomorrow further 200 Km to set the full stop to this edition of the Pharaons Rally.
Stage 6: Siwa-Bahariya. 430 Km.
Today was another stage filled with sand and dunes. The start was close to the small village of the Siwa bivouac, nearby the first dunes of the stage. These dunes usually hide sections with very soft sand and others are cut, increasing the risk to get stuck and crash. Immerse in a sea of sand, after Km 100 the route reaches very high chains of dunes to get to CP1. After this control point, the riders accessed a fast and bumpy road, coasting the dunes of Siwa from the South, to continue off track to CP2, assistance and refuelling point. Later, the riders had to face sandy passages, completely off track, more dunes, fast and well marked tracks, new seas of sand and some stony sections in narrow tracks between "ouadis". The finish, located at Km. 430,03 of the special, was on the falaise of Bahariya, close to the asphalt road taking directly to the bivouac.
Marc Coma: "Today was an important day, with a 430-km special filled with dunes and fast tracks. I'm happy because everything worked out fine and we've been able to make use of our advantage in the starting position, making up time with regard to the riders in the front. The most important at this point is to keep the control over the race and make of tomorrow, which is a much shorter special, a pure formality."
Jordi Viladoms: "Good, today has been a good day. We had to pass a lot of dunes during the first 250 km and that allowed us to quickly regroup with the riders starting ahead of Marc and me. We've covered almost the rest of the special together and only in the last part of the stage Marc and I opened a short gap setting a faster pace. Today was the last long stage so let's hope that tomorrow everything works out fine."