Among the bike riders, it was Spaniard Joan Barreda taking the top honors on his Speedbrain Husqvarna being received by the Egyptian dignitaries to celebrate their first win in this rally.And it was a rally that more than lived up to its promises: sportsmanship, a friendly atmosphere, wondrous stages, a precise road-book and an exciting race to the end in both categories; bikes/quads and cars.At 29 years of age, Joan Barreda has achieved the first important victory in his young rally career (two years long), riding the new Husqvarna developed for the Dakar. He now looks like the natural heir to countryman and 2012 World Champion Marc Coma’s (absent from this year’s Pharaons) throne in the coming years.For Joan Barreda, always focused, careful and reserved, this victory is just what he needed with two months remaining until the Dakar, reassuring his good chances for success.
Instead it was a solid second place finish for Jakub Przygonski, who rode quite consistently (one stage win), but slightly slower than his Husqvarna mounted rivals. The result allows the Polish rider to finish the World Championship in third place, the same result he achieved last year.With regard to Jordi Viladoms, his third stage crash kept him from achieving the type of result he had hoped for. Engine problems and pain in his ribs were, however, compensated for by a second place finish in the World Championship, and ready to great him at the finish was his friend Alessandro Botturi from Team Bordone Ferrari, who just arrived in Egypt today.Bolivian rider Carlos Salvatierra took home a valuable fifth place finish, just head of Polish rider Jacek Czachor.
Joan Barreda (Husqvarna) winner: “I am really happy with this week in Egypt. All of the stages were difficult, and I’m very satisfied with the work done by the team, whom I would like to thank. It is my first win in World Championship race, following on from July’s victory in the Baja of Spain.”
Jakub Przygonski (KTM), second place overall: “After the mistake from Goncalves, the podium places were essentially locked up. I gave my best in the final special, after having ridden with Barreda and seeing that he wasn’t always consistent on the route. Second here and third in the World Championship, it has been a satisfying week, despite a few too many navigation errors.”Jordi Viladoms (KTM-Bordone Ferrari), third: “It was a difficult rally for me personally, between physical problems and issues with the bike. After the crash I just tried to hold on until the finish, as my World Championship position was in play…”
Paulo Gonçalves (Husqvarna), fourth: “I don’t have any regrets with regard to my riding, but I made some big navigation mistakes. But it’s something I will learn from, and I was always there to liven up the race along with Joan. Two double stage wins with Barreda, and one individual stage win, mean a lot for the factory. Unfortunately I lost second place in the World Championship.”