The first stage of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge wound up in Qsar Al Sarab, at the gateway to the great erg in the southern region of the country, after a vertiginous day that included 290 km against the clock and considerable dangers. The stage was also marked by the relentless, blistering temperatures that accompanied the riders throughout the interminable Liwa dunes.
Paulo Gonçalves took third place on the first day of dunes and soaring temperatures at the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge with Joan Barreda finishing fourth.
As it had been Joan Barreda who claimed victory in yesterday’s Super Special, he was able to choose the starting order and decided to set off from last position of the 54 participants in the bike category. Barreda set about overtaking as many riders as possible, although in the end he finished in fourth place with a deficit of several minutes from the eventual winner.
Team-mate and reigning world champion Paulo Gonçalves, took third showing good consistency throughout, without wanting to take any excessive risks. Hélder Rodrigues experienced some electric problems at the CP2 level and lost valuable time trying to repair a breakdown. He arrived in 26th position, 1 hour 37 minutes from the stage winner.
Stage 2 – Madinat Zayed-Moreeb
Liaison: 125.10km Special Stage: 269.67km Liaison: 92.89
|1||Sunderland Sam||GBR||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||03:29'47|
|2||Coma Marc||SPA||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+00'34|
|3||Goncalves Paulo||POR||Team HRC||Honda||+02'44|
|4||Barreda Joan||SPA||Team HRC||Honda||+05'05|
|5||Viladoms Jordi||SPA||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+11'12|
|7||Przygonski Kuba||POL||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+38'23|
|8||Stanovnik Miran||SLO||Team Stavnovik||KTM||+38'41|
|9||McBride David||GBR||Team Gecko||KTM||+40'38|
|10||Al Balooshi Mohammed||UAE||KTM UAC||KTM||+44'50|
Provisional Standings after Stage 1
|1||Sunderland Sam||GBR||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||03:31'52|
|2||Coma Marc||SPA||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+00'35|
|3||Goncalves Paulo||POR||Team HRC||Honda||+02'45|
|4||Barreda Joan||SPA||Team HRC||Honda||+05'04|
|5||Viladoms Jordi||SPA||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+11'13|
|6||Przygonski Kuba||POL||Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team||KTM||+15'11|
|8||Stanovnik Miran||SLO||Team Stavnovik||KTM||+39'02|
|9||McBride David||GBR||Team Gecko||KTM||+40'54|
|10||Al Balooshi Mohammed||UAE||KTM UAC||KTM||+45'10|
The erstwhile UAE Desert Challenge, one of the world’s most prestigious international cross country rallies, entered a new era in March 2009 when it was renamed the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge with the five-day motor sport spectacular being staged in its entirety across Abu Dhabi emirate under the auspices of the Abu… read more.
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