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OiLibya Rally 2009 Special-Newssection (FIA Cross Country Worldcup)

This is the single-news section of the special of the OiLibya Rally 2009, second round of the FIA Worldcup for Cross Country Rallys. To see all news please use the link under the article or navigate with the left main-navigation.

OiLibya Rally: Victory for Marc Coma on the second stage.

After yesterday`s prologue, today saw the second stage of the Rally of Tunisia, one that took the riders south away from the capital. It was 546km long, although of the 250km that should have been against the clock, the organisers decided to neutralise 190km of them yesterday, owing to the effects of the recent rainfall.

In the end and after just 60km the Repsol rider, Marc Coma, was the winner in the bikes category. His teammate, Jordi Viladoms, lost 4 minutes and 55 seconds, after opening the tracks and being harmed by the last minute changes made to the route.

This morning, the race caravan left the city of Tunis to do a long liaison towards the area where the special section began. It was a short special which mixed fast zones with other more technical ones, along narrow gravel tracks and still in the part of the country very close to the Mediterranean coast, the most densely populated region where there are many different types of tracks.

That turned the navigation into a very important factor, and something that played a part in how the race panned out today. Last night the organisers had warned of a change which was not marked in the roadbook, this was at the halfway mark and there the riders had to follow the instructions given by the marshalls at that point.

However, when the first of the riders reached the aforementioned point there was nobody there. Viladoms, who started second this morning, then made the wrong choice although just a few seconds later he turned back and was able to get on the right track. The Repsol opened up the tracks until the end of the stage but lost almost five minutes in the overall; whilst the winner of yesterday`s stage, Despres, lost a little over eight minutes with respect to Coma who had no serious problems today.

“We began with a very long liaison towards the south, leaving the part of the country that has been worst affected by the rain behind. The 60km against the clock were the final ones on the original route, where there was a lot of navigation. It was through the more populated part of the country, with many different tracks where it was easy to get lost, because we are still nowhere near the open desert.

It mixed fast tracks with others that were more technical, although because it has not rained as much here the tracks were in quite good conditions. This rally has only just started and the important part is yet to come. I think it is going to be a very tough race, so for the time being we are taking things calmly,” said Marc Coma.

“Today the special was only 60km, although with a lot of navigation. The most complicated part was where the organisers had set up a modification to the route at the halfway point, and it was supposed that when we arrived somebody would tell us the direction to take. But it did not work out like this as there was nobody around, so I went the wrong way.

I turned back and then I was the one opening up the tracks because Cyrile [Despres], who was theoretically in front of me, did not find the right track until after I did. I am pleased because with it being a short stage I was able to ride without any team orders and things went well. Moreover I was able to open up the tracks and that is very positive. I have lost a little time and even though I finished ninth perhaps it is not a bad result for tomorrow, because I will have several rivals in front of me and that may be benefit me,” said Jordi Viladoms.

Tomorrow, after a liaison of 9km, the riders will tackle the first tough special in the rally, 356km long.

Top 5 Motobike Results SS1

1. Marc COMA 0:39.58
2. David CASTEU 0:41.14
3. Francisco LÓPEZ 0:41.36
4. Luca MANCA 0:42.31
5. Jakub PRZYGONSKI 0:42.43
9. Jordi VILADOMS 0:44.53

2009/04/23 | 20:36 CET | Editor: MR/Repsol/Rita Konya

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