|Desafio Ruta 40: Helder Rodrigues on the podium again in Argentina.|
Helder Rodrigues finished third in Friday's fifth stage of the "Desafio Ruta 40" in Argentina and now sits just one second off the overall lead with the final stage scheduled for Saturday.
Friday's long stage from Chilecito to San Juan originally comprised 326 km of liaison and a further 455 km of special, but it was shorted to a 231 km special because of extremely cold temperatures at the start early the morning. The stage was won by Francisco Lopez, who now holds the slender one second overall lead.
Rodrigues rode a controlled stage over very fast terrain to maintain his challenge for this year's rally, while his Team HRC team-mate Javier Pizzolito had to ride today with no GPS, eventually finishing in ninth place.
Saturday's short, circular stage, starting and ending in San Juan, will be critical to the overall results, with Rodrigues scheduled to start in third place for the 146km special.
Helder Rodrigues: "The stage was a very fast stage and our bike didn't have the same advantage as on other stages, but I pushed hard the whole time and I'm happy with the result. Saturday could be a photo finish at the end because the guys at the front are so close together. I will give everything I can."
Javier Pizzolito: "It was difficult again today but for a different reason - this time I had no GPS! I managed OK though and didn't lose too much time. Tomorrow will be a challenge and, for sure, a close finish."
Martino Bianchi - general manager, Team HRC: "Helder rode very well and controlled the stage. The first three riders are now very close and, with the last stage Saturday, it will be an extremely tight finish."
Desafio Ruta 40 special stage 5 results Bikes
01) Francicso Lopez I KTM I 02:27:25
02) Kurt Caselli I KTM I +00:01:07
03) Helder Rodrigues I Honda HRC I +00:02:12
04) Marc Coma I KTM I +00:02:52
05) David Casteu I Yamaha I +00:05:08
06) Daniel Gouet I KTM I +00:05:20
07) Paulo Goncalves I Speedbrain Honda I +00:05:25
08) Pablo Quintanilla I KTM I +00:05:45
09) Javier Pizzolito I Honda HRC I +00:07:14
Desafio Ruta 40 overall results Bikes after SS05
01) Lopez (KTM) I 16:38:28
02) Rodrigues (Team HRC) +1s
03) Caselli (KTM) +35
04) Coma (KTM) +3:58
05) Casteu (Yamaha) +5:30
06) Pizzolito (Team HRC) +6:19
2013/06/19 | 20:03 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/MOSSI