TOP RIDER: Honda rider Joan Barreda races during the second stage of the 2015 Dakar Rally from Villa Carlos Paz and San Juan, Argentina. Image: AP/ Felipe Dana
SAN JUAN, Argentina - Rider Joan Barreda took victory in Stage 2 from Villa Carlos Paz and San Juan, the first major special stage of the 2015 Dakar with an imposing win.
Sam Sunderland, who won Stage 1 (Jan 4) ended up lost for a (very) long time, 70km from the finish.
Barreda, already a 10-times stage winner, has had to content himself with a best final position of seventh in the Dakar, a result he hopes to change in 2015.
STAGE 2 VICTORY
The Honda rider battled Marc Coma and Sunderland along the 518km special stage though benefited from his rivals’ problems near the finish.
Coma suffered tyre issues during the final 60km while Sunderland was lost fro more than two hours.
Paulo Gonçalves finished second in the stage, six minutes behind Barreda, and is second overall. Ruben Faria finished third, nine minutes behind, an incredible feat considering it's been two months since he underwent an operation to mend his broken collar bone.
Goncalves beat Jordi Viladoms by four seconds while debutants Toby Price and Matthias Walkner, finished fifth and sixth respectively.
In the quad race, Rafal Sonik's performance at the end of the stage put him ahead of top rivals Ignacio Casale and Sergio Lafuente. Sonik leads the overall rankings followed by Casale and Lafuente in second and third respectively.
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