Stage 2 – San Luis to San Rafael Monday 6th January
What happened yesterday:
Broadlink KTM’s Riaan van Niekerk rode a safe day to finish a comfortable 27th overall for the day 11 minutes off the pace set by Spaniard Juan Barreda on the Honda. Barreda pipped Marc coma by just 37 seconds who was again ahead of Despres by just over a minute.
The racing stage was narrow and tight with some stoney sections and river crossings. It was a long first day for the riders finishing off with just over 800 Km’s on the odo.
Liaison sections: 304 km Special stage: 359 km Liasion sections: 62
The second stage of the Dakar is described as the fastest of the rally, absolutely flat out for the first half of the stage to CP1 at the 188 Km mark and then into the dunes. Navigation did not seem to be a problem as there were so many spectators out there. Riaan had a great day finishing 19th in the stage, moving him to 18th overall. The marathon stage starts tomorrow and will take them to San Juan. it will start off with a 292Km liasion section followed by a 373Km special test.
Riaan van Niekerk:
“This morning was just about a straight road for 40 kilometers, I didn’t tap off. Refueled at 170Km then another straight section for 60 kilometers then into the dunes, navigation wasn’t too difficult, lots of spectators. It was very hot and a very long day today. I’m happy with my 19th today”
“Good second stage, the first part was very fast, the second part were the first dunes which are very nice in Argentina, happy with my second place, the new bike was very good, great suspension and i feel like jumping more with it”
“Not a perfect day I got a stone lodged behind my gear lever and i had to stop in the dunes, it cost me some minutes to stop and fix this, but it’s still a long race”
“Interesting day, I followed in dust for the first 170 km, once we got into the dunes I had a lot of fun, I didn’t do anything silly today, I had a good time and got to ride with Ruben and I’m still learning from the faster guys, all in all a good day two for me.”
“Today the stage was better than yesterday, I had 170 km in the dust, it was hard to pass Pizzalito after the refuel and I lose some time, after that i pushed hard in the sand and it made up time”