Podium lockout for Joan Barreda, Paulo Gonçalves and Kevin Benavides, who weathered a tough day of navigation and cold weather in the Desafío Ruta 40 opening stage.
The canvas of the first stage of the Desafío Ruta 40 has been tinged with Team HRC colours. Honda CRF450 RALLYs occupied no less than the first six final positions, with a notable victory for Joan Barreda, laying down the gauntlet on day one.
There was no shortage of tricky navigation to deal with in the first and cold stage which started out in the Nihuil dunes and the salt flats of the Mendoza province. Next came a section of fast track with wild animals causing some of the riders a scare or two. Barreda, for example, was unable to avoid a collision with one, although he made it safely through the ordeal, before going on to take the stage victory.
Finishing behind Barreda was Team HRC colleague Paulo Gonçalves – winner of the 2015 Ruta 40 – who eased himself back into the race today and is sure to be competitive over the forthcoming stages. Kevin Benavides rounded out the podium. The Argentinean, who started out from first place from San Rafael, opened the track in the 309.54 kilometre special stage, finished with a five minute deficit to Barreda.
Honda South America Rally Team riders, Javier Pizzolito and Franco Caimi crossed the line ahead of Michael Metge, who had a hard fall in the dunes on a tough, troublesome first day at the Desafío Ruta 40.
Tomorrow the second stage will feature a 310.24 kilometre special timed stage and some 322 kilometres of liaison. The stage winds up in San Juan.
Results Stage 1
|1||Barreda Joan||SPA||Team HRC||Honda||3:45'45|
|2||Goncalves Paulo||POR||Team HRC||Honda||+3'37|
|3||Benavides Kevin||ARG||Team HRC||Honda||+4'54|
|4||Pizzolito Javier||ARG||Honda South America Rally Team||Honda||+9'08|
|5||Caimi Franco||ARG||Honda South America Rally Team||Honda||+13'20|
|6||Metge Michael||FRA||Team HRC||Honda||+21'03|
|7||Duplessis Martín||ARG||MED Racing Team||KTM||+28'27|
|8||Salvatierra Juan Carlos||BOL||Chavo Salvatierra Racing||KTM||+39'27|
|9||Kozac José Julián||ARG||Julián Kozac Rally Team||Yamaha||+39'28|
|10||Ontiveros Alberto||ARG||San Juan Gobierno Rally Team||Beta||+1:04'09|
The Desafio Ruta 40, gets installed in the global sporting context as a premium brand. More than a simple velocity race, like every Cross Country Rally, the Desafio Ruta 40 is an adventure that requires competitors other capacities that goes beyond speed to reach the goal faster. Desafio Ruta 40… read more.
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