Joan Barreda and Michael Metge have managed to clinch first and second spot in a highly-treacherous China Grand Rally seventh stage. A thick layer of dust masked hidden dangers in the tracks carved out on a previous stage.
Once again, Team HRC proved that for speed, they are unmatchable in the China Grand Rally. Joan Barreda remains unbeaten so far after seven stages and with just two left to run looks a safe bet for overall victory. Today’s stage, however, was an onerous task as competitors were faced with heavy fesh-fesh covering much of the route, hiding innumerable dangers. The route back-tracked over long swathes of track used in the previous stage. The dense dust produced by the vehicles concealed rocks and other hazards which posed a constant threat as the riders retraced their paths – although this time in the opposite direction. A day for maximum caution.
Hot on the heels of Joan Barreda was teammate Michael Metge, who by now had resolved his brake issues and was able to complete the special stage at full pace. The Frenchman overtook Armand Monleón, who set off ahead and clawed back 2’13” although Metge continues to hold third place.
The eighth stage to be held tomorrow, Sunday, will arrive in Ling Wu after 277.28 kilometres of special stage plus two long 300 kilometre liaison sections.