Rodrigues leads at the India Baja 2017

Dakar Rally rider Joaquim Rodrigues, competing for Hero Motorsports Team Rally, ended in lead position in the Moto category at the end of day two of the India Baja 2017 rally here on Saturday.

Joaquim Rodrigues in action   -  Special arrangement

Dakar Rally rider Joaquim Rodrigues, competing for Hero Motorsports Team Rally, ended in lead position in the Moto category at the end of day two of the India Baja 2017 rally here on Saturday.

Rodrigues was followed by Aravind K. P. and Abdul Tanveer after the first four stages of the rally were complete.

Raj Singh Rathore led the Xtreme category with a one-minute lead over second place Gaurav Chiripal followed by Himanshu Arora in the third place.

The stages included some really harsh terrains where the riders covered a total distance of 289.56 Km over four special stages. The first stage that started at Majid ki Basti ended at Bandha followed by stage 2, which was held in the sand dunes of Asu Tar testing the endurance of the competitors.

The action in the second stage was exciting as there were many crashes. A lot of riders made up for lost time in the first stage. The third stage proved be rather pivotal in the context of the rally which started from Banda and ended with only 15 Moto and 18 Xtreme (car participants) participants.

The biggest upset of the day came in the form TVS racing rider and Dakar Star Adrien Metge suffering a vehicle failure. He was unable to complete the fourth stage of the rally and was excluded from the race.

One of the other upsets was Sunny Sidhu losing his way in stage 2 leading to his exclusion. One of India’s bright women riders in the form of Sarah Kashyap who was 20th in the start order also couldn’t make it past the third stage.

The women contingent all over had a bad outing with Baishali Nath struggling to go past the first stage and the sister duo of Anu and Poonam Rana, who started 26th on the start order, lost their way after a bad crash at a stiff turn in Stage 1 of the rally.

The rally will again restart with 13 participants in Moto and 14 in Xtreme category.

The fifth stage of the race will begin at Bhuwana stretching up to Mangaliyawas with almost a distance of 88.53 Km and the sixth stage will begin at Turkon ki Basti and end at Majid Ki Basti with a distance of 52.21 Km.

The two stages for the day will cover a distance of approximately 141 Km to mark the end of the first ever Dakar Challenge Series in India.