In bikes, it was time to shine for Helder Rodrigues (Yamaha), who conquered the sand with elegance. The Portuguese rider earned a stage victory after leaving the start in fourth place, eight minutes behind Marc Coma. The Spaniard, fourth today, keeps his leadership in overall standings and keeps his advantage over Rodrigues, who takes second place.
Helder Rodrigues is currently second overall in the 2011 Pharaons Rally after earning a victory in Stage 2.
The gap is still too small to allow any release to the leader. 1’23” seconds is not a lot after the second day when there are still four more to go.
Jakub Przygonski (2nd of the stage), ran with perfection, maintaining his place in the podium during these two days, but this might not be enough because the Polish rider is 2 minutes and 57 seconds behind Coma.
After a hard day (broken clutch), “Chaleco” López enjoyed his day during the stage, despite the high temperatures. The Chilean rider started among the last bikes this morning and took over competitors until he finished fifth. The best Italian is Edouard Boulanger on Aprilia, who takes an honorable twelfth place and eleventh overall after six years off of cross country rally racing.
Helder Rodrigues (Yamaha 450), stage winner: “It was a very long stage with lots of sands and stones. I started fourth and little by little I got to the top to find myself in front of Jordi (Viladoms). I found a good rhythm and made the effort to keep it all stage long, it paid at the finish line! These two first stags were hard for the bike and riders, but I appreciate it and for the moment everything is ok.”
Jordi Viladoms (Yamaha 450), third: “I got up to Marc Coma, and then I crossed the dunes without problems, keeping a nice cadence. I found myself with Helder and each of us took his turn to try to win, but we finally crossed the finish line together. I am quite glad with the performance of the bike because after two days, it needs lots of mechanics.”
Marc Coma (KTM 450), fourth and race leader: “It was a typical day at Pharaons, for the stage length and for its difficulty. All elements of a big stage where there: off road, dunes and some rough roads. I opened the road and I saw Helder (Rodrigues) and Jordi (Viladoms) very fast. To run for 500 km in a timed section like this is an excellent training to learn how do doze effort and adopt a good race rhythm. After two days, we have to keep results steady, but the bike and the rider are so far, so good!”
Francisco Lopez: “I am glad I was able to restart this morning after the clutch problems yesterday. Even if I took a late start, it was fine and I felt well while ridding and I feel like I did well. It was a hard stage, but for me, a lot better than yesterday.”