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UAE Desert Challenge 2007 Special-Newssection (FIA Cross Country Worldcup)





This is the single-news section of the marathonrally.com special of the UAE Desert Challenge 2007, last round of the FIA Worldcup for Cross Country Rallys. To see all news please use the link under the article or navigate with the left main-navigation.









UAE Desert Challenge: Marc Coma wins the first stage on two wheels.


The reigning World Cross Country Rally Champion, Marc Coma, started the UAE Desert Challenge by imposing his own rhythm. The Repsol rider has a two minute and a half advantage from the first 272km stage that took the participants away from the capital, Abu Dhabi, towards Moreeb.

His Repsol KTM teammate, Jordi Viladoms, was third almost four minutes behind him after a great performance in the sandy tracks of the Arab Emirates. In the car category, Luc Alphand was second, just 26 seconds behind the winner, the Qatari Nasser Al Attiyah. St├ęphane Peterhansel was third, 56 seconds behind, and Nani Roma, who had a puncture was seventh, 8 minutes 22 seconds off the lead.

After yesterday`s short super-special in Dubai and the official starting ceremony opposite the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi this morning, the UAE Desert Challenge 2007 got off the mark with the first of its six stages. The first day gave the Repsol riders a relatively easy first contact with the local terrain that was made up of a mix of fast sandy tracks across country and through dunes with varying levels of difficulty.

In the motorbike category, Marc Coma started 15th and Jordi Viladoms 16th, since the first ten in yesterday`s prologue could choose their position for today`s stage. In this way the Repsol riders did not have to clean the tracks and were able to go at a fast pace overtaking their rivals to move up to first and third places in the overall classification, at the end of the first day full of fast technical tracks that had some jumps and some winding zones that were quite demanding for the participants.

Marc Coma: "After yesterday`s special we chose where we started and the truth is that it went well. We benefited from this situation but I suppose that tomorrow it will go against us since we will be the ones starting at the front. But for the time being we are pleased because we started well and we`ll have to see how things go from now on. Today`s stage was very fast. The first part on sandy tracks and then a zone where we found the first dunes. The truth is that it was very soft as it has not rained here for two years and that complicates this type of terrain. As it is so soft you have to work the bike a lot and it is physically quite demanding."

Jordi Viladoms: "I am very pleased. Today I started with doubts about whether I could physically handle a whole stage with this type of tracks without problems and I am satisfied since the objective of keeping up a constant pace during the whole stage was possible. In the end I was third and I think that is a very good position. We came across fast tracks that were quite soft where we were able to pick up speed but at the same time riding with care since we found tongues of sand across the tracks and they gave you a fright. I had to work the bike hard. It had been a few days since I had ridden on this type of terrain since in Egypt we had some dunes but we crossed them in straight lines and we did not have to follow this type of sandy tracks. I had a few doubts about whether I would remember how to cross them without problems and I saw that although I have to carry on perfecting some things I got through this test OK and I am very pleased with how the whole day went."

2007/10/29 | 21:57 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Repsol






















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