Stage 2: Barcelona to Granada January 1, 2005 Liaison 920 km Total 920 km After the ceremony presenting the competitors on the podium situated "Placa de Espanya", the Telefonica-Dakar caravan will face its first difficulty. Stage 2:...
Stage 2: Barcelona to Granada
January 1, 2005
Liaison 920 km
Total 920 km
After the ceremony presenting the competitors on the podium situated "Placa de Espanya", the Telefonica-Dakar caravan will face its first difficulty.
The loading or towing of motorcycles and quads is strictly forbidden.
12:35 The long road to Granada
After the super special on the beach of Castelldefels on the outskirts of Barcelona with the wins of David Fretigne and Robby Gordon, the competitors face a very long day on the roads of Spain. No racing or navigational difficulties today but hours behind the steering wheel or handle bars of their vehicles.
The day will however start with a podium presentation of every single competitor situated "Placa de Espanya". A good opportunity to bid farewell to friends and family and receive a warm cheer from the Catalan fans.
Once off the podium, the Dakar caravan will hit the road to Granada for a 920km journey, almost exclusively via motorway, with a stopover in Castellon for a check point and a well-deserved lunch break. For the third consecutive time, the competitors will 'shortly' discover Castellon although this time, unlike the two previous editions, no beach special is planned.
A good two thirds of the liaison will still have to be covered in the afternoon before the first vehicles make it on the Southern point of Spain in Granada.
Although no changes in the overall are obviously possible, the day should prove to be tiring for both man and machine.
13:43 Adios Barcelona
Sun and fun in Barcelona! In a fantastic atmosphere around the podium of the Placa de Espanya, the competitors took of at 9h00 for the long road to Granada via a CP in Castellon. Thousands of fans gathered to cheer the Dakar caravan in the first hours of this New Year. Under a bright sunny sky, the first bikers to hit the road were Swiss team Sandro Lanaro and Rudolf Howald (APR -- n250) on their sidecar bike, rapidly followed by all bikes, cars and trucks. As expected the Spanish riders of the KTM Repsol team (Isidre Esteve and Marc Coma) and Mitsubishi's Nani Roma received the warmest farewell from the Catalan crowd.
Almost all competitors looked in perfect shape for this 'real' start to the rally, having taken it easy for the New Year's celebration. No time for partying, they all went to bed shortly after midnight for a well deserved rest after their super special and before the 920kms to Southern Spain.
13:59 Comte forced to quit
Frenchman Denis Comte (KTM n43) was forced to withdraw from the race and not take the start of today's stage 2 heading to Granada. The 53 year-old had all his official documents (passport, etc) money and credit cards stolen in his assistance van based in Barcelona. Impossible in such conditions to take off for the biker who had financed his Dakar project by himself. There are now only 463 vehicles remaining in the rally race including 229 bikes.
14:28 First competitors at Castellon CP
After the first 380 kms of the long liaison stage to Granada, the first competitors have made it to the Castellon check point. 169 bikes have cleared the CP as well as three cars: Servia (SCH - n301), Schlesser (SCH -- n300) and Peterhansel (MIT -- n306). Sixty bikers are still expected in Castellon for lunch as well as 162 cars and all the trucks that took off last from the Placa de Espanya in Barcelona.
15:32 9 bikers still expected at CP
229 bikes have made it to the Castellon check point for a lunch break before heading to Granada. Nine bikes were still expected: Sanna Cocco (KTM -- n41), Lepan (KTM -- n76), Kay (HON -- n119), Vion (HON -- n135), Verzeletti (KTM -- n150), Terranova (KTM -- n172), Buratti (HON -- n196), Renders (KTM -- n203) and Montero Perez (BOM -- n246).
Meanwhile on four wheels, 40 vehicles have made it to Castellon where thousands of fans have gathered to cheer on the Dakar competitors.
17:37 News from Castellon CP
In the closing hours of the afternoon, the race inspectors have signalled that 34 vehicles have not cleared the Castellon CP. 23 cars, 5 trucks and 6 bikes were still to make it to the mandatory check point. The 6 bikers are Sanna Cocco (KTM -- n41), Lepan (KTM -- n76), Verzeletti (KTM -- n150), Terranova (KTM -- n172), Buratti (HON -- n196) and Renders (KTM -- n203). Meanwhile, most of the Dakar competitors were heading south on the motorway to Granada. The first vehicles were expected at around 18h00 on the finish podium of the stage.
18:50 First 5 in Granada
The first five competitors (all in the bike race) have made it to the finish line of stage 2, a liaison between Barcelona and Granada, via a CP in Castellon. The first to go up the podium at 18h40 were Hansson (KTM -- n198) and Ambrosino (KTM -- n200). Both riders were shortly followed by Terranova (KTM -- n172), Eland (KTM -- n164) and Borsi (KTM -- n227).
20:19 KTM-Gauloises and first car in Granada
After the first few privateers made it to the finish of their long 920km liaison from Barcelona, the first 'big guns' have arrived in Granada. The entire KTM-Gauloises official team with Fabrizio Meoni (KTM -- n4), Cyril Despres (KTM -- n2), Alfie Cox (KTM - n3) and Jean Brucy (KTM -- n9) climbed on the finish podium of the Southern Spanish city.
Meanwhile, Frenchman Jean-Pierre Strugo (MER -- n322) was the first car driver to cross the finish line.
21:34 The favourites in Granada
After the first cars made it to Granada, the buggies of Jean-Louis Schlesser and Josep-Maria Servia were the first of the top cars to arrive on the finish line. The Schlesser-Ford were shortly followed by Colin McRae in his Nissan, and the Mitsubishi Pajero Evo drivers: Hiroshi Masuoka, Luc Alphand and Stephane Peterhansel.