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





This is the single-news section of the marathonrally.com 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 stays at the top of the leaderboard in Egypt.





The rally is developing just as the Repsol KTM Team had foreseen, on this the second day Marc Coma and Jordi Viladoms were caught by the riders who started out behind them. As they reached the first control, CP1, Coma still enjoyed a couple of minutes lead over his teammate Viladoms, who had started just two minutes after him. After the CP1, Coma made a small navigating error and he lost a little time, and in the end he was caught by those coming up behind him with Viladoms in the lead, followed by Ullevalseter, Pellicer and López.

This group rode together between CP1 and CP2, until a zone with fast tracks, Coma then upped his pace and got away from the group. In the end he had a lead of just over a minute, and this means he stays at the top of the leaderboard in the African rally, part of the World Raid Championship. Coma now has an advantage of a little over five minutes as the race leader, Ullevalseter is second and Viladoms, third.

The first few kilometres on today`s second stage were identical to yesterday`s loop, with 13km along a valley with hills on the right until the riders reached a plateau, with quite slow sections. After covering a few kilometres the riders arrived at a flat zone without any danger, from km 32 to the first control at km 69. From that point onwards the route followed a very bumpy track with some dangerous ditches until they reached another flat zone where the riders could ride very fast leaving the mountains to their right.

Stage 2: At km 100 the track became twisty and very fast for 8km until a flat sandy area was entered. From km 126 onwards the riders were in a zone with dunes until they reached another flat zone just before the two ergs, 7km and 3km respectively. At the end of the second one, more technical, came a zone with more rounded dunes before at around kilometre 197 they became soft and much more difficult, followed by others even rounder until CP4, when the first broken dunes appeared. Then the riders came across stony hills before CP5. The end of the first part of the stage took them through a fast zone to the bivouac. The second part was a 50km loop starting and finishing at the bivouac in Sitra, this was cancelled by the organisers and the stage was cut from the original 374km to 321km.

Stage 3: The third stage of the Pharaohs Rally, on Tuesday, is between the small lagoon in Sitra and the city of Siwa, a total of 389km, the riders go very quickly into the dunes, just 7km from the bivouac. That is the predominant theme in the third stage: dunes, dunes and more dunes. Afterwards the participants will find some complicated sections before arriving at a rocky plateau with several dangers that the organisers have marked in the roadbook.

Marc Coma: "Today`s stage was off-road, and quite a long way over dunes, and even going slowly they made things difficult. But it went well and I am pleased. I was a little confused with the navigation after CP1 and I lost a couple of minutes, but it was nothing important and did not influence the result too much, since because of the type of stage it was with the dunes at the end, it was easy for those behind me to catch up. I tried to set a fast pace within the limits of the level of difficulty, opening the tracks for those behind me, so that they were a little stretched and not too comfortable trying to make sure that we did not arrive in a group. I got a small lead of one minute and at the end the others were not so close. In theory tomorrow we will be able to recover the lost time because the special finishes in a zone of dunes and I think that we will start in a good position to try and catch the group in front and then we will see what happens. The truth is that the weather is being very kind to us because we are starting early, when we finish it is not so hot we are very grateful for that."

Jordi Viladoms: "Today went well. Today we opened the tracks and it was predictable that those behind would catch us up. Moreover, we made a small error in the navigation and that made it even easier for them. But well, theoretically everything we lost today we can make up tomorrow, so we are pleased. This was a stage completely off the roads and with a lot more dunes than yesterday, which was much faster on harder terrain. Now come the stages with dunes, soft terrain and off road."

Jordi Arcarons, Repsol KTM Team Manager: "So far the rally is going as we had foreseen, we are pleased with how everything is going. We have not had any important mechanical problem nor any falls, and that is positive. Referring to the navigation, this is a rally that has quite a lot of complications in this department and that is why it is important for us to participate here. The GPS no longer functions as such and now we just have a compass, so the matter of the navigation has to be done really well. This is without a doubt a good test for our riders. In addition to fighting for the World Championship we are also working on the preparation for the Dakar 2008, and this practice is going very well."

2007/10/02 | 13:20 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Repsol






















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