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Difficult Third Stage For The Team HRC In The Sardinia Rally
Posted by: newsla on Jun 11, 2014 - 06:47 AM
WRC Rally News 2010
Difficult Third Stage For The Team HRC In The Sardinia Rally

Bittersweet Marathon stage of the Sardegna Rally Race for the HRC Team in which Joan Barreda won the first Special and Helder Rodrigues finished in third place on the second.


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It is by San Leonardo’s roman church where the riders will rest in their tents after a very difficult marathon of the Sardegna Rally Race. The HRC Team riders have once again done their best to overcome the series of inconveniences that they have encountered. The bikes have been taken to a parc ferme in which the mechanics will not be able to work on them after having completed the 122 kilometers of today’s second Special. They will not be able to work on them until the riders have completed the first sector of the fourth stage that consists of an additional 49 kilometers.

Paulo Gonçalves was the first one to start today and opened the track, setting a good pace during the first part up until the arrival to the assistance point. The second part of the day, on a very twisted part of the rout, the front brake overheated, preventing him from keeping the pace and having to slow down and finished the second sector in twelfth place. The Portuguese rider has conceded the lead and is currently fourth on the overall standing.

Joan Barreda made was really strong on the start, setting a fast pace and taking the first place on the first sector, finishing one minute ahead of the runner-up, Marc Coma. However, on the second Special his roadbook stopped working unexpectedly, making it impossible for him to follow the correct rout. He waited for another rider to catch-up to him to follow him and finish the Special. Due to this he has lost a lot of time and is currently ninth in the overall standing.

The best HRC Team rider today has been Hélder Rodrigues. The Portuguese did not lose much time during the first Special and made no mistakes while reading his roadbook. He has finished in third place on a rather complicated second Special today. ‘Estrelinha’ has gained some positions on the overall standing and currently holds the fifth place of the Rally.

Helder Rodrigues 4th +6'26 Team HRC
It was a very complicated stage due to navigation, specially during the second half of the day. It was difficult and demanding but I have to say that it felt better during the second Special. During this race you need to remain very concentrated to avoid making mistakes that will make you lose time. We still have two more days ahead of us to keep pushing.

Paulo Goncalves
Paulo Goncalves 8th +17'06 Team HRC
I opened track during the first special and had a good pace. During the second Special I was able to push a lot until I had a problem with my front brake, it was overheating and loosing brake power, so I had to slow down in order to arrive safely to the marathon bivouac

Joan Barreda 12th +21'28 Team HRC
I had a good start today, I was enjoying the riding and the track and was able to set a good pace during the first Special. During the second Special the roadbook stopped working and was impossible to get anywhere without it. I waited for another rider to come by, Farrés appeared and I followed him. Farrés was lifting up a lot of dust on his way, making it really complicated for me to follow him. I lost a lot of time but I was able to make it to the finish line.

Wolfgang Fischer Team HRC - Team Manager
Today started really well with the first special test. Joan found a good rithm and won this section of 90 km until the assistance point, and also Paulo was doing a good opening the track, with Hélder not far. Unluckily, in the second part both Joan and Paulo faced technical problems and could not keep up the strong pace they started, loosing valuable minutes and positions in a very difficult to navigate stage. At least, Hélder could make up some ground and finished on a fine 4th today, 3rd in the second part of the stage, moving up to fifth overall before tomorrow’s second part of Marathon stage. The riders will do their best tomorrow until the service crew can check the bikes and continue to fight for the best result possible.

Tomorrow's stage

Stage 4. 11 June 2014. San Leonardo-San Teodoro

SS6. 47 km
SS7. 65 km
Total. 278 km.

Coast to Coast, from west to east through some of the most evocative lands of Sardinia. Two Special Stages, relatively short, but with a full variety of terrains and with a great deal of navigation. In particular, in the now famous "nightmare" of Forest Burgos.
The starting line is in San Leonardo, and the first kilometres in the direction of Santu Lussurgiu. Then time to refuel, and to resume the path towards the Mount of Seneghe, where the SS 6 begins. This Special Stage deserves the nickname of "Bastard ". The track is, in fact, short, nice and… unfriendly. The selective section is plotted on a mountain that was once a volcano, and the proof is there with difficult volcanic rocks, stones from all kinds scattered everywhere. Round stones, square stones, pointed ones, stones behind the corner, under the grass, downhill, uphill. Above all (Limba Preda Bia ) the solid "singing" rocks.

After the finish of the Special Stage, the road book point to Badde Urbara, heads to San Leonardo, Macomer, until the Roadhouse of Tirso on highway 129, and on Highway 120 until the exit of Bono. At this place, the riders will find the Point of Assistance at the Boris Service Station. Then 14km to join the Special Stage 7 "Fiorentini ". The Special Stage features the typical paths of the Forest of Burgos, where in particular the navigation can become a nightmare. To get lost in this maze would be devastating, because the "punishment " may be a huge delay. The famous passage near the lake of Sa Fraigata, included in previous editions of the Sardegna Rally, will this time be characterized by a spectacular off-piste.

The end point of the Special Stage is located near the station of Pattada. To conclude the penultimate stage of the Rally, an easy and wearying transfer via asphalt to San Teodoro.

PaddockTalk Perspective

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