Joan Barreda took over the lead of the bikes class of the Dakar Rally thanks to a stage-winning performance aboard his Monster Energy Honda Team CRF405 RALLY on Sunday, but he admitted it was a stage of two halves.
The Spaniard was one of only two riders to dip below three hours on the stage, and he ended up two minutes and fifty-four seconds clear of second placed Adrien van Beveren, despite the Frenchman being close to him in the early ‘confusing’ phases of the stage.
However, he was able to pull away in the second half of the stage when conditions were faster, and he will now lead the class away on Monday when the third Peruvian stage gets underway between Pisco and San Juan de Marcona.
“A hard, tough stage with quite a confusing part at the beginning where we had to keep our concentration,” said Barreda. “I jumped a dune hard and I really felt that in my hand over the next few kilometres.
“The final part was very fast and I was able to pick up quite a bit of space and in the end it turned out well. Tomorrow we have to open the track and everything changes again, but we always knew that it would be that way and we just have to keep on as best we can.”