REPSOL RIDERS KEEP LEADERSHIP IN EGYPT Second one-two finish for the riders of the Repsol KTM team, with Marc Coma first and Jordi Viladoms second in the Pharaons Rally The Repsol KTM team has started the Egyptian raid very well and dominating.
REPSOL RIDERS KEEP LEADERSHIP IN EGYPT
Second one-two finish for the riders of the Repsol KTM team, with Marc Coma first and Jordi Viladoms second in the Pharaons Rally
The Repsol KTM team has started the Egyptian raid very well and dominating. After yesterday's one-two finish and Jordi Viladoms' first stage victory in a raid, they switched places today and it was Marc Coma who took the stage victory followed by his team mate. After this result, Coma has taken the lead of the overall standings, closely followed by team mate Viladoms -- 2 minutes behind. The third classified rider, also Repsol rider, Carlo De Gavardo, is already 22 minutes behind the leader of the overall standings and current Raid World Champion.
The first to start this morning in Baharija was the winner of yesterday's stage Jordi Viladoms. 2 minutes behind him started Marc Coma, and before the first control point, the Repsol riders were already riding together. During the rest of the stage, Viladoms and Coma rode together until the finish of the special. Third today was French rider Casteu who started 4 minutes behind Coma, but no danger was expected from the Frenchman because the was penalised yesterday after his many problem and is far back in the overall standings. Carlo de Gavardo was fourth.
Today's leg. Baharija - El Dakhla. 440 Km.
The second leg of the Egyptian race took participants from Baharija directly to Dakla, crossing one of the most fascinating and known desert of the world: the white desert of Farafra. The start was very close to yesterday's finish and on the first kilometres the route coasted the oasis of. From Km. 23,80, the race went through on a very fast sandy track and later across a little canyon covered by sand, to reach a high plateau of fossil limestone. After CP1 at 90,25, the area filled with small dunes in Ghard El Nusf indicated the end of the fast track. From then on the route entered a stone labyrinth with a very hard and bumpy ground that for 20 km descended to the wonderful white desert of Farafra. The fesh-fesh took over at this point of today's route. After CP2 Km. 193,11, the rider had to face a point of vital importance: at Km. 233,76 they had to find a downward passage, difficult and dangerous, that took them to the assistance point at Km. 247,50. After assistance and refuelling, the route changed back to fast and straight tracks, passing large and round sand dunes for more than 60 Km. Then, once in the ground of the valley, close to Km. 430, the track continued through sand and stones until the end of the stage. After marking their time cards and having a short break, participants covered a short liaison from the small village of El Qasr to El Dakla.
Marc Coma: "Today has been a rather long stage, and we made almost completely together, Jordi and I. I was usually in the front, to navigate and although there were some complicated points everything worked out fine and we did not make any mistakes. We both kept a good pace and we were rewarded for it at the end of the day because the third classified rider is already more than 20 minutes behind. We have both made a very good raid so far and hope to follow this line until the finish."
Jordi Viladoms: "I'm happy, everything is working well so far. I started first today and Marc caught me quickly. I put myself behind him and it was Marc who opened the track and made the whole navigation work today. He set a high pace but I had no problem to follow his wheel until the end of the stage. Today was the longest stage of the raid and it's been very varied with stone sections, dunes and some fast tracks with gradient changes. It's been a nice and varied stage."