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Silk Way Rally: Ales Loprais retains the third place after Stage 2.

A solid third place remains with Ales Loprais after the first reals stage of the rally. Ales finished the stage just 2m54s behind the race leader, Gerard de Rooy. The entire starting field started the special, having passed a 90-kilometre liaison and crossing the Volga river. Ales started the special third (the starting order surprisingly did not correspond to the results of the prologue) and managed to maintain that position the whole stage.

Just like at Dakar 2009, Gerard de Rooy was the fastest in his brand-new Iveco special. The winner of the prologue and the Dakar, Firdaus Kabirov, lost some time and dropped to the fourt place behind Ales. Vladimir Chagin was the only one to really keep the pace with de Rooy, losing just 12 seconds. As many as six mutually cooperating Kamaz trucks keep their positions in Top 10, accompanied by the family duo of de Rooys, and two Czechs, Ales Loprais and Martin Macik on his Liaz.

"The stage was eventually pretty smooth to run but we must admit it was really difficult in terms of navigation, with many bends and changes of direction. As you know, too many ways in front can cause a problem. Our problems was of technical nature, a minor one but pretty unpleasant. The windscreen sprayer stopped working and we could not see much trouch the dirty windscreen, just a small niche, like from a tank. But still we managed to retain the position. But the battle will be fiercer than ever but surely new experiences are in front of us. In the bivouac we repaired the sprayer and we think the brakes are in a better condition than we had supposed," summarises Ales the opening stage.

The second stage to Ouralsk will present two shorter specials that total 231 kilometres. The competitors should finish the second one early in the afternoon. Ouralsk is one of three cities that hosted also the legendary paris-Beijing rally in 1992. The Silk Way was a significant part of the transcontinental marathon rally.

Standings after Leg 02, Kazan (RUS) - Bougouruslan (RUS)

01) Al-Attiyah/Gottschalk (Q/D) I VW Race Touareg I 01:10:15
02) Sainz/Cruz (E/E) I VW Race Touareg I 01:13:08
03) Miller/Pitchford (USA/ZA) I VW Race Touareg I 01:14:35
04) De Villiers/Von Zitzewitz (ZA/D) I VW Race Touareg I 01:17:00
05) Lavieille/Polato (F/F) I Nissan Navara I 01:19:34
06) Berkut/Meshcheryakov (RUS/RUS) I Mitsubishi Evo I 01:19:59
07) Errandonea/Garcin (F/F) I SMG Gache Buggy I 01:20:18
08) Kahle/Schuenemann (D/D) I Honda Buggy I 01:21:30
09) Biryukov/Kniga (RUS/BY) I Mitsubishi Pajero I 01:26:54
10) Misikov/Zhiltsov (RUS/RUS) I Nissan Navara I 01:27:20

2009/09/07 | 14:12 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Jirka Vintr

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