- Iván Cervantes abandons due to an accident while battling for the race lead.
- Marc Solà ranks in an excellent 6th place in his debut with the spanish squad.
- Rosa Romero slots into 2nd place in her category after a hard fight for the win, finishing in 15th place overall.
- Dani Oliveras, key figure for the team in this edition, crosses the line in 9th place.
Once more, Baja Aragón did not disappoint. Its toughness and demanding nature have come through once more offering a great show and a greater challenge for all participants. Iván Cervantes, Dani Oliveras, Rosa Romero and Marc Solà were the four riders representing the HIMOINSA Team in the race.
The action started on Friday the 21st with a day filled with activity for the red squad: administrative and technical verifications, autograph signings with fans and Gerard Farrés’ visit, who is almost recovered from his knee injury, were the highlights of the first half of the day. In a great act, Gerard, ambassador of the Step by Step Foundation, gifted his official shirt to Susana García, rider of the ParaBaja. A symbolic act to keep Gerard’s spirit in the race pushing these brave riders with his energy.
Past midday, riders jumped on track for the 9km prologue. Iván Cervantes managed an amazing 2nd place only 5.9 seconds off the leader with good riding and looking very comfortable on the bike, granting himself an unbeatable starting position for the second day. Marc Solá qualified 5th with a cautious start of the stage to adapt to his new KTM in his team debut. Tougher luck for Dani Oliveras, who caught up with a slower rider on course and, after surpassing him, stopped the clock in 7th position. As for Rosa Romero, placed first among the women and ranked in 21st position in the overall classification. A good start, placing three of its riders within the top 10.
On Saturday things did not go nearly as well for the Murcia team. In the day’s first 134km long stage, Iván Cervantes fought for the race lead until km 100 of the special, where his rear gas tank suffered a perforation and lost all its fuel. Minutes behind, his teammate Dani arrived to help, sharing a few liters of fuel to finish. Rosa Romero rode comfortably controlling her rivals while Marc Solá put in the 6th fastest time of the morning.
The day’s second special was marked by Iván Cervantes’ crash, which happened when he hit a rock and fractured his collarbone in the crash. Assisted again by Oliveras, the emergency services acted within a few minutes lifting Iván in a helicopter. Rosa struggled with the dust after catching the rider in front, keeping her from overtaking and losing some valuable seconds which saw her docked into the women’s second position. Dani Oliveras finished the stage without issues after helping Cervantes while an inspired Marc Solà clicked off the 6th best time. In total, 217km of special with a very rough terrain after the passing of cars and trucks.
Sunday’s stage would prove decisive. The first bikes set off at dawn to tackle the final 184km of a Southward itinerary which started at Barrachina. Marc Solà came in strong and, with a faultless stage, came through in an excellent 6th place. Rosa, meanwhile, held an epic battle to regain the lead in the women’s race while proposing an aggressive strategy which helped her to claw back 1:31 min, although they were not enough to see her victorious. Dani Oliveras was energetic on track coming off a job well done the previous day, and was able to ride fast and overtake multiple riders up to 8th place in the stage and 9th overall on his KTM Rally.
A tough and demanding race which took no prisoners and which, once again, brought the best out of the HIMOINSA Team and the whole Rally Raid community. The team is taking only the positives and sets its sights on Dakar in this second half of the season.
Iván Cervantes (@IvanCervantes25): “I was very excited to come to Baja, but things did not turn out as well this time. I made a good start in the prologue and we fought very hard with Joan Barreda during the first special, for which I am very happy with my performance. The misfortune came with my crash on Saturday’s second stage. It was very frustrating because I had the lead’s pace, but I hit a rock and got sent flying. I could do nothing to avoid the impact and I was instantly conscious that I had hurt my collarbone. In just a few minutes Dani stopped to help and made notice of my accident. I thank the Organization and the emergency services for acting so quickly, now it is time to recover well and get back to training as soon as possible. I also am grateful for the fans’ support, they were really involved and they will soon see me back on the gas, thank you!”
Dani Oliveras (@danioliveras_21): “I came to Baja with the goal of riding and getting back on the pace after my injury. I raced with caution and had good sensations, although I did notice that I am still not 100%, I am still missing a bit of ¨spark¨. I am happy beacause we did a great job as a team and were able to get past every obstacle we found. The bike worked perfectly and I didn’t make any mistakes, so I can’t ask for more. I am bummed for Iván, he was riding really strong and it was really unfortunate.”
Rosa Romero (@RosaRomeroFont): “It was one of the most demanding Bajas for me, it has been years since I had fought this much on the track. I rode a progressive race, controlling my rivals, but I faced a very strong Sara who forced me to give my best. I think it was a beautiful fight on some very complicated terrain, although I believe the time I lost during SS2 behind another slower rider was key to losing the race. It has been a really great year so far and I hope to keep it up, we will work really hard to do so.”
Marc Solà (@marcsola34): “Before setting off here in Teruel it was all new for me: bike, team, work ethic… now that we are done I am convinced that I am really well surrounded. We rode a perfect Baja, without mistakes and really enjoying my new KTM. I kept calm I think there is a big potential to improve and that is very motivating. A sixth place in these conditions is unbelievable. I am really pleased with y new teammates, I walked into a great atmosphere and it was a race to remember.”
BAJA ARAGÓN 2017 OVERALL BIKES CLASSIFICATION
1st J. Barreda 06:50:12
2nd J. Pedrero +06:17
3rd M. Metge +7:43
6th Marc Solà +21:26
9th Dani Oliveras +43:01
15th Rosa Romero +01:31:04
HIMOINSA RACING TEAM
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Multinational company specialized in manufacturing and commercialization of energy generation systems. HIMOINSA has nine productive centers in Spain, USA, Brazil, Argentina, France, India and China, and eleven commercial subsidiaries in Argentina, Panama, Dominican Republic, Portugal, Angola, United Kingdom, Germany, Poland, Singapore, Dubai and South Africa. With more than 1.000 employees, the company has supplied electricity-generating devices and lighting towers to important international projects across all five continents.
Yanmar is a Japan-headquartered manufacturer with a sales and service network operating in over 130 countries.
A pioneer in the production of diesel engines, Yanmar also manufactures agricultural and construction machinery, energy systems, marine products and components. With a global turnover of 655 billion yen in fiscal 2014, the organization employs over 17,000 people worldwide