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Sardinia Rally: Marc Coma second after the first leg of the Rally.

The first stage of the Sardinia Rally finished with Marc Coma only three seconds behind today’s winner, Chilean rider Francisco López. The Repsol KTM rider is one of the firm candidates for the victory of the rally, and the tiny advantage of the leading rider after this first leg leaves all options intact for Coma to take the victory of the Sardinia Rally for the third time.

Coma was sixth at the start this morning and he was able to ride at a good pace until catching-up with French rider David Casteu with whom he continued until the end of the special, that was meant to be a first contact with this particular race, second round of the 2007 Rally-Raid World Championship.

Today’s leg was raced between the villages of Olbia and Gavoi, and the special stage took participants through mountainous areas which are very different to those of last year. The riders had to face a very technical and stone-filled road that that demanded extreme concentration from them to be able to follow the indications of the road book correctly while avoiding the many obstacles on the track. The Sardinia Rally has always been known for being highly demanding and today’s leg has been a good example. The navigation difficulties and very technical and demanding tracks have been the main feature of the first contact of the riders with the landscape of the island. The second leg to be staged tomorrow will include a 108-km long special stage that will take participants through the mountains of the High Alto Oristanese to Oristano.

At the end of the stage, the organisation detected some problems with the transponders - the electronic devices which are used to track the participants during the race- so that the results are provisional until confirmed by the race direction.

Marc Coma: "The route of today's leg took us through a mountain area with very difficult navigation. A typical Sardinia day, with the classic features of this race to start getting the pace, something we’re not really used to. Neither the type of surface nor the features of the bike are what we usually have, so the type of navigation demanded by this race makes it a little more different than what is needed in other races. But, well, we’ll get used to it bit by bit."

2007/05/03 | 14:28 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Repsol

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