Stage 2 - Pisco to Pisco 12km liason, 267km timed special stage
Brit Sam Sunderland secured seventh position as Monster Energy Honda's Joan Barreda took the win on the 267km second stage of the 2018 Dakar today.
After winning the opening stage yesterday, Sunderland was first away as the second stage set off. New regulations for 2018 mean that the top riders now start at three minute intervals (not two minute like in the past) in an effort to stop a rider simply following a competitor in front and for safety to prevent riders racing in each others dust.
The riders were dealt an additional complication for stage two, instead of the bikes being the first on the stage, this time the cars opened the stage meaning that the bikes quickly caught them. A factor that proved problematic for Sunderland.
Speaking to MCN, he said: “Early on I lost about three minutes when I got confused because there were cars coming back down towards me on the hills. Two times I was forced to brake on the way up the hills because of the cars and that meant I had turn around and then climb them again. There must have been 30 cars stuck – it was chaos, but we got through it. I wasn’t in a good rhythm so I just tried to keep my nose clean because it was a bit dangerous. Day two is done, the bike is working well so we’ll just keep plugging away.”
Despite the set-back, Sunderland was only caught on the track by one rider – Yamaha man Adrien Van Beveren with the two men riding together throughout the second part of the stage. Sunderland’s seventh place finish might not look that good on paper, but it gives him an excellent possibility tomorrow of taking serious time out of his rivals. And as the KTM team manager Alex Dorringer said: “Today it was important not to win the stage.”
The stage win saw Barreda notch up a significant milestone of taking his 20th career Dakar stage win. The 34 year old Spaniard will open tomorrows stage with features a 296km timed special and a 208km liaison.
Stage 2 result
- Joan Barreda ESP Honda 2:56:44
- Adrien Van Beveren FRA Yamaha +2m 54s
- Matthias Walkner AUT KTM +4m 24s
- Michael Metge FRA Honda +4m 39
- Kevin Benavides ARG Honda +5m 43s
- Pablo Quintanilla CHL Husqvarna +5m 45s
- Sam Sunderland GBR KTM +6m 01s
- Xavier De Soultrait FRA Yamaha +6m 12s
- Franco Caimi ARG Yamaha +6m 36s
- Toby Price AUS KTM +6m 40s
- Barreda 3:18.36
- Van Beveren +2m30s
- Walkner +4m50s
- Sunderland +5m04s
- Quintanilla +5m44s
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