Pharaons Rally: Barreda Wins Stage 4

2012 Pharaons Rally Stage 4 Results

It was another hot day today, and the high temperatures have been the overriding characteristic of the four stages of the Pharaons rally disputed thus far. The racing starts early in the morning for this exact reason, with the sun just peeking out over the tops of the dunes and the fresh night air still lingering over the golden sands.

The fourth day of competition turned out to be slightly more difficult than yesterday, and perhaps a little less trying than what awaits the “survivors” tomorrow.

As far as the bikes are concerned, everything can be summed up with a single name: Joan Barreda. He has swept the competition aside with such ease that the KTM riders can only look at his results with extreme envy. Everyone in the paddock now sees the Husqvarna as a serious threat to the Austrian manufacturer in the next Dakar.

After Barreda won the stage, this third of the four disputed thus far, there was something quite familiar about his comments. Having started first, he said, “There were no problems with the navigation.”

So no mistakes like he made during stage two, and neither Jakub Przygonski, second, nor Paulo Goncalves, third were capable of keeping pace with the Catalan gazelle, flashing his way across the scalding Egyptian desert. With Barreda now dominating almost every day, Goncalves and Przygonski are left to fight for second place.

Jordi Viladoms, fourth across the line, wasn’t able to push the limit during the 214 and 248 km long special stages, as he still has pain in his ribs from yesterday’s crash.

Pal Anders Ullevalseter suffered a different type of misfortune when his gearbox gave out just 40 km into the first stage, forcing him abandon his KTM in the desert, ready to be transported back by the balais.

For his part, Franco Picco didn’t celebrate his birthday in the best of ways today: he crashed heavily, momentarily losing consciousness. “I turned around to keep an eye on my ‘flock’, and didn’t realize I was cresting a dune,” he explained through the bruises on his face. The Italian rider has now been transported to the hospital in Cairo for the necessary follow up checks. Finishing eighth was Diocleziano Toia (Beta Dirt Racing), who is now seventh in the overall standings..

Tomorrow the fifth stage will bring back to Tibnyia. 405 km of special stage in program.