The Merzouga Rally served up another tough day of navigation for the second full stage.
Team HRC continues to accomplish its main mission in the Afriquia Merzouga Rally with the two young riders Ricky Brabec and Kevin Benavides gaining experience and coming to terms with the tough navigation.
In a stage that was divided up into two parts, Brabec and Benavides were to come up against navigation of the most difficult kind. The initial part played out in the dunes, whilst the second took to faster-paced track with rocks and various ‘oueds’.
American rider Ricky Brabec started out from fourth position, but a slight roadbook reading error cost him some time. Team HRC colleague Kevin Benavides (Argentina) was able to overtake Brabec, with the two eventually finishing virtually neck and neck.
In the final part of the liaison section Ricky was hit by a rock flicked up by another bike ahead, which, in spite of goggles and helmet, left the American with a nasty bruised nose and headache. The rider will, however, be in perfect shape to ride tomorrow.
Tomorrow will see the rally’s marathon stage, which means that on arriving at the bivouac, the riders will be cordoned off with their bikes without the help of outside mechanical assistance. The riders themselves will be the only ones allowed to make any kind of repairs or servicing. The special stage will feature a lot of sandy, off-piste racing; once again with heavy emphasis on navigation. The total of 464 kilometres will include 223 against the clock.