Being the swiftest rider at the conclusion of the second stage of the Merzouga Rally, Kevin Benevides had an error-free stage and rose up to second place in the overall rankings, just right behind team-mate Joan Barreda.
“I felt very good today, I went out to attack. I saw the riders in front and over the final kilometres of dunes I wanted to attack but something made me think about not forcing and not risking to finish the stage safe.” told Benavides
The 175.3km timed special of the second stage of the Merzouga Rally made the contenders racing into the desert east of the small town of Merzouga. The route was composed of two loops, divided through a 15-minute neutralization. A combination of dunes in addition to faster tracks, the stage still required cautious routing.
Also enjoying a no-mistake timed special was Pablo Quintanilla who bagged the second place. Attaining the foremost riders following the halfway mark, the current Cross-Country Rallies World Champion is in third in overall scoreboard.
“We had a very early start this morning and in the first dunes it was difficult to see if another rider was in front. Around the 120km mark I caught the leading group of riders and continued to open the tracks for the remainder of the special stage. I made no mistakes and felt fast from start to finish. My navigation was also on point and this is crucial in such conditions.” Told Quintanilla
Having learned his lesson as to carefully navigate his way, Toby Price had a steady start and eventually gained speed and precision. This was to avoid his mistake in navigation just like what happened on Monday. With just a gap of three minutes on the leader , he crossed the finish line in third place.
“It was a good day today, especially after having such a tough day yesterday.” told Price.
“I just nailed each section and tried not to make the same mistakes as yesterday. After making a mistake like yesterday, you lose confidence in your road book, so today was all about building that confidence up again and getting a solid result.”
The stage three of the rally will start tomorrow, the marathon stage with two days of riding devoid of overnight support. Featuring a 63-kilometre link as well as a 239.21-kilometre special stage in opposition to the clock. Riders will have the night in camped situation by the side of the foot of the dunes in addition to be given no mechanical aid.