From Team HRC – Helder Rodrigues today won the second stage of the 2013 Desafio Ruta 40 in Argentina, while his team-mate Javier Pizzolito placed seventh.
Following the cancellation of the opening stage yesterday due to bad weather, the rally got underway today with the first timed kilometers contested on a 346.51km special stage linking San Miguel de Tucumán with San Fernando del valle de Catamarca.
The weather conditions continued to cause some disruption with the start being delayed by one hour and 15 minutes, but this did not deter Team HRC’s Helder Rodrigues. The Portuguese rider put in a seamless performance aboard his Honda CRF450 Rally, completing the special stage with no mistakes to take the victory with a time of 4h54”49.
The stage also proved successful for Pizzolito, who led on the road for the majority of the today’s race and eventually finished in seventh on the timesheet, 6.23 minutes behind his team-mate. The rally will continue tomorrow with a 713.29km stage from San Fernando del valle de Catamarca to Belén, including 247.12km of liaison and a 466.17km special stage.
Helder Rodrigues #3:
I am very happy. It was a very long and technical stage, mainly through the mountains with many twists and turns. My Honda was really good on this technical terrain. I am really pleased with the result, both for myself and for the team because everyone is working so hard.
Javier Pizzolito #7:
This was a very technical stage for my riding style. I am more of a sand rider so I’m not used to the rocky terrain, but I did quite well. I’m really happy for Helder and his victory for the team. Now I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s stage, which I’m expecting to be quite tough with a lot of navigation.
From KTM – Factory rider Marc Coma finished a comfortable second in the second stage of the Dakar Series Desafio Ruta 40 in Argentina on Tuesday just two minutes 40 seconds behind stage winner Helder Rodrigues of Portugal.
Coma’s two factory teammates also had a good day with Chilean Chaleco Lopez in fourth place and American Kurt Caselli in fifth, 4 minutes 46 behind the leader. Caselli an offroad and Baja specialist in the US, made his debut with the KTM factory team at the 2013 Dakar Rally where he stepped in to ride for the injured Coma and delivered a very solid first rally. All three KTM riders are on the KTM 450 Rally bike.
The start of Tuesday’s stage was delayed by one hour but finally got underway and effectively launched riders into the competition. Monday’s opening stage was cancelled due to adverse weather conditions. Fog had made it impossible to have the rescue helicopter airborne so organizers called it off after a delay of several hours.
Riders left the bivouac in Tucuman early on Tuesday morning and had to travel for a total of 668.11 km, including the 346.51km timed special. The stage finished in Catamarca. The first part of the timed special was over rough territory and dusty mountain tracks then towards the end they had to alternate between relatively wide sections and other pats that were narrow and stony. KTM team manager Alex Doringer reported all three of his riders were happy with their results after a day that was difficult and very technical.
Stage three takes riders from Catamarca south to Belen over a distance of 714.29 km, 466.17 km of which is timed special. Weather is expected to be very cold to add another dimension of difficulty to a hard day’s work.
Speedbrain Rally – The intention for the Bavarian Speedbrain Rally Team rider Paulo Goncalves at the first counting stage of the 4th Cross Country Rally World Championship Event has been to get a good basic position for the next days. The following stages are discribed to be very challenging for the riders.
The goal has been reached in a perfect manner. Goncalves, currently second in the world championship series rode a smart and tactical race to finish third in the end. The main competitors, stage winner Helder Rodrigues and the world championship leader Marco Coma still in striking distance. Goncalves entered the stage early in the morning when it was still dark, rainy and cold riding carefuly to avoid any risks. When reaching the second half of the stage the Portuguese decided to attack the field. When reaching the paddock at the end of the day the riders have been more than 11 hours on their bikes including 5 hours of special tests.
Paulo Goncalves:“It has been a good day. Without taking any risks I reached the podium. Navigstion wise it has not been too difficut. Everything workes well.”