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Silk Way Rally: Rally ended with podium ceremony in Ashgabat.

34 cars and 16 trucks made it to Ashgabad to the finish of the first Silk Way Rally. Carlos Sainz in the car race and Firdaus Kabirov in the trucks race won overall after a great week of fighting and challenges among the leaders. Pure rally raid !
For a first edition of a rally that will probably become one of the most popular in the rally raid world, the morning ceremony of the last stage was amazing. President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimukhamedov, President of Russia Dmitriy Medvedev and President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbaev all met in Turkmenbashi, on the beach ofKaspian sea, to celebrate the birth of this new event and to greet the crews.
At the start in Kazan 8 days ago and 4800km away, everybody knew about the VW victory but nobody expected such an intensive battle. Very soon the competition between the 4 teammates turned into a duel between Nasser Al-Attiyah and Carlos Sainz. Persistence and the pressure from Carlos made the Qatari push too hard. Al-Attiyah lost everything on the last stage, when he flipped his car and had to quit. Looks like “El Matador” becomes the main challenger for the podium on the next Dakar.
Even more changes happened in the “non VW” category. Experienced racers like Christian Lavieille, Philippe Gache and Matthias Kahle faced huge problems. Eventually, after the three VW left, we find two Russian pilots, Ruslan Misikov and Ilya Kuznetsov.
The president of Russia was glad with the performances of KAMAZ-master, with four KAMAZ trucks into Top 6. Firdaus Kabirov became the winner overall. Vladimir Chagin, who after an accident on the route lost any chance for the victory, finished fourth.

Gerard De Rooy and Ales Loprais managed to get the place on the podium and prove they can compete with Kamaz. But KAMAZ-master can be proud of young talents like Eduard Nikolaev, who was a rival to watch for all the “big names” and took 4th place overall.

2009/09/14 | 11:54 CET | Editor: MR/ASO/Rita Konya

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