COMA 2ND AFTER DESAFIO RUTA STAGE TWO
KTM factory rider Marc Coma finished a comfortable second in the second stage of the Dakar Series Desafio Ruta 40 in Argentina on Tuesday just 2:40 minutes behind stage winner Helder Rodrigues of Portugal.
Marc Coma’s two factory teammates also had a good day with Chilean Chaleco Lopez in fourth place and American Kurt Caselli in fifth, 4:46 minutes behind the leader. Caselli an offroad and Baja specialist in the US, made his debut with the KTM factory team at the 2013 Dakar Rally where he stepped in to ride for the injured Coma and delivered a very solid first rally.
The start of Tuesday’s stage was delayed by one hour but finally got underway and effectively launched riders into the competition. Monday’s opening stage was cancelled due to adverse weather conditions. Fog had made it impossible to have the rescue helicopter airborne so organizers called it off after a delay of several hours.
Riders left the bivouac in Tucuman early on Tuesday morning and had to travel for a total of 668.11 km, including the 346.51 km timed special. The stage finished in Catamarca. The first part of the timed special was over rough territory and dusty mountain tracks then towards the end they had to alternate between relatively wide sections and other pats that were narrow and stony. KTM team manager Alex Doringer reported all three of his riders were happy with their results after a day that was difficult and very technical. Stage Three takes riders from Catamarca south to Belen over a distance of 714.29 km, 466.17 km of which is timed special. Weather is expected to be very cold to add another dimension of difficulty to a hard day's work.
The rally is the fourth leg of the FIM World Cross Countries Championship and title defender Marc Coma has won the first three rallies.
Results Stage Two Desafio Ruta 40 (Stage One canceled due to bad weather)
1. Helder Rodrigues (P), Honda, 4:54.49 h
2. Marc Coma (E), KTM, +2:40 min
3. Paolo Goncalves (P), Speedbrain, 3:04
4. Chaleco Lopez (RCH), KTM, +4:38
5. Kurt Caselli (USA), KTM, +4:46