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Pharaons Rally 2007 Special-Newssection (FIM Cross Country Worldcup)

This is the single-news section of the special of the Pharaons Rally 2007, 5th round of the FIM Worldcup for Cross Country Rallys. To see all news please use the link under the article or navigate with the left main-navigation.

Pharaons Rally: Coma second and Jordi Viladoms third in today´s third stage.

Today the Pharaons Rally went into Egypt`s most inhospitable desert, where the highest and most impressive dunes rule in this part of Africa. Today the appearance of dunes from practically the start of the special was going to bring a rapid bunching up of the fastest riders in this rally.

Pellicer, who won yesterday`s Bahajira - Sitra stage, started out first, opening up the tracks and was soon caught by the riders from the Repsol KTM Team, Marc Coma and Jordi Viladoms, and also by Ullevalseter and Graziani. All these riders rode together tackling the long lines of dunes that were along the route. Pellicer fell and injured his shoulder and this forced to him to retire from the race.

Before refuelling Marc Coma started an attack by suddenly upping the pace and managed to get away from the rest of the group. Coma got a small lead and kept it until the end of the special, and this means he has extended his lead slightly at the top of the leaderboard. Only the Chilean López, who won today`s special, was capable of cutting the gap on the Repsol rider, and by just 53 seconds, something that is logical taking into account the fact that López started just behind Coma this morning.

Jordi Viladoms, in spite of riding in the same group as Coma and finishing third, had some minor problems which made him lose a little time regarding his teammate at the end of the special. Viladoms forgot to open the reserve valve and so his bike stopped when he was with the leading group. Later when he raised the pace so he could make up the lost ground Viladoms got stuck in a dune, but in spite of this in the end he was able to catch the tailenders of the group up and finish the stage in third place.

Today`s stage (Sitra-Siwa, Special 333 km): The third stage, with a scheduled length of 389km. was, just like on other days, shortened. This time to 333km, after the organisers decided to cancel the loop of 55km. programmed for the participants after arriving in Siwa, owing to the high temperatures. Today`s special began by going directly from the bivouac towards the dunes, the riders finding them after just 7km, and they accompanied them throughout most of the special. At the beginning they were rounder and easy but they were just a foretaste of other broken dunes which were more difficult and more technical. After that there were some complicated stretches before the riders arrived at a rocky plateau with several significant dangers that the organisers had marked in the roadbook beforehand. After a few kilometres of fesh-fesh, alternating with dunes and stonier stretches, the special arrived at CP5. From then on to the end of the stage, even more dunes, separated occasionally by a flat zone with stones to say farewell to these slower zones, then the riders only faced sand and dunes.

Marc Coma: "Today`s stage was very pleasant, with a lot of dunes. The whole stage was off road. Although at the end there was very little visibility, because the sun was very high and so there were no shadows making it difficult to see the outline of the dunes. This made it complicated for those at the front opening up the tracks, and it meant that a leading group of five was formed. At the end I sped up and I got away from the group. I am pleased with how things are going, with a good pace without taking too many risks. Tomorrow we have the loop Siwa - Siwa, which is all dunes, and from then on we will begin to return to Cairo. Let`s see if everything carries on as we expect it to."

Jordi Viladoms: "Today`s stage went well. The objective was to catch those in the lead and we did so. It was all off road, with a lot of dunes and it was complicated to be at the front opening up the tracks, so at the start of the special we bunched up and we travelled together for a short time. At the beginning of the stage I rode with Marc and we reached Pellicer and Ullevalseter together. We took turns in the lead until the four of us reached the refuelling stop, and that was when "Chaleco" López caught us. It is a shame that Pellicer fell, and I think he has a dislocated shoulder, but it is not so serious and we hope that he recovers soon. From that point on it was a very pleasant stage, with some dunes that were great fun, but it is a pity that we always pass through these zones so fast, because the countryside is very pretty."

Jordi Arcarons, Team-Manager: "After seeing everything that we have done so far I would say that the problems have been minimal and the riders are going very well. At their own pace, and doing something that I insist on everyday: that the pace is safe, because we cannot have any type of fall or serious problem. The race is going well, Marc is defending his lead very well and we are working day by day. Viladoms is up there too. This morning I asked him to wait for Marc the two minutes that his start had given him, because things are always achieved as a team, not with the work of individuals. That is why I always ask him to ride behind Marc. Tomorrow we have a 100% dune stage in store for us and all off road. The riders that start at the front always have the handicap of having to open up the tracks and are caught by those who start a little later. This is not a day when there will be big differences, it is a case of just doing things well and the only thing that can happen is that somebody makes a small mistake or makes a navigating error. This is not one of those stages where you get a big difference by riding fast, but it is a 100% navigation stage."

2007/10/02 | 18:48 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Repsol

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