Victory for Kevin Benavides and podium place for Gonçalves at the second stage
Victory for Kevin Benavides and third place for Paulo Gonçalves in the second stage of the Desafío Inca. The Monster Energy Honda Team riders improve in the overall standings.
In a lengthy, looping second stage in the dunes, Kevin Benavides was able to take control of the race and set the pace during the 350-kilometre special on the second day of the Desafio Inca. Starting out from further back proved a blessing for the Argentinean, whose stage victory allows the rider to move up into sixth position in the general standings.
Portuguese team-mate Paulo Gonçalves showed himself to be the most consistent of the team. Today he posted third place and occupies fourth place overall, 21 seconds behind the leader after two days of competition. Accompanying Gonçalves in the general rankings is José Ignacio Cornejo, who suffered the ‘handicap’ of being among the group of riders opening the track. Despite finishing with the sixth fastest time, the Chilean is fifth overall 3’33” behind the leader.
A navigation error put a spanner in the works for Ricky Brabec today, who had originally set out to claw back time and positions in the race. After two days of racing, the American holds ninth some 25 minutes adrift of the overall leader.
Tomorrow the final stage, featuring a 200-kilometre special stage, will again be held on a looping circuit beginning and ending in Ica.
STAGE: 1ST OVERALL: 6TH
It’s been a good stage. I had to start out from behind. I had great feelings with the bike which is what we were looking for with this race. I pushed hard and was able to catch up the riders in front. I was able to get ahead at the end. I’m very happy with the stage and glad to be more or less on good form.
STAGE: 3RD OVERALL: 4TH
It was another very long stage at 350 kilometres. I’m pleased. I had a good starting position. I recovered a bit of time. Above all I felt good all day. A good pace. There was quite a lot of navigation in the dunes. The bike is running really well which is the principal objective here. We are happy. There is still one day to go so we’ll try to finish it as best we can.
STAGE: 11TH OVERALL: 9TH
The second day was alright. We’re just here for practice but everyone is still keeping time and putting pressure on us. So it’s hard to focus. I made a big mistake today. I’m looking forward to tomorrow and just making it through the race and then focus on the next one that will be in Morocco.
José Ignacio Cornejo
STAGE: 6TH OVERALL: 5TH
We’ve finished the second stage and it was a very good one. We spent most of the day with a group of other riders. There were some very entertaining parts but others with a lot of dust where it was a bit dangerous. I showed a good pace and I was sixth in the stage that puts me fifteen in the overall standings. It’s a good position to start tomorrow from which I’ll be able to make up positions. I’m happy and all ready for the final stage tomorrow.