Starting from the antepenultimate spot Marc Coma began the second World Championship event proper with a strategy of making an immediate impact. After covering 330km of timed riding today, the MRW rider was the quickest over the opening stage and heads the overall standings. Thanks to his third place in yesterday’s prologue, Coma last night had the chance to pick third on the starting order. He obliged and started as one of the furthest back on Stage One. His aim was to catch the riders ahead of him and follow their tracks. Knowing how competitive the four-stage rally will be, the MRW rider decided to push as hard as possible and completed the stage in 3h47m54s.

The competition reaches its midway point tomorrow with Stage Two of the Sealine Cross-Country Rally, which follows the same itinerary as today: 330km of special stage and a 7km link-up.

Marc Coma

“We started well, made no mistakes and were waiting to see how the unknowns would affect us –it’s a new country for us and we aren’t familiar with the terrain. There was a lot of rock in the Special Stage, a lot of navigating to be done and a final section of dunes. We did a good job and had fun today. We all started close together thanks to the starting order and had difficulties establishing an advantage, so we are optimistic because we are going well. We open up the stage tomorrow, but as the Special Stage is the same as today we won’t be at such a disadvantage setting off first, because the track is already marked from today’s stage.”

Stage 1

Connection: 7 km

Special: 330 km

TOTAL: 337 km

Standings

1. Marc Coma 03:47:54

2. Joan Barreda +00:00:08

3. Hélder Rodrigues +00:03:11

4. Rubén Faría +00:05:48

5. Jordi Viladoms +00:06:17

General classification

1. Marc Coma 03:50:41

2. Joan Barreda +00:00:06

3. Hélder Rodrigues +00:03:10

4. Rubén Faría +00:05:52

5. Jordi Viladoms +00:06:23