Stage 15 Bayan Hot-Hohhot
Selective Sector: Lang Shan Pao-Shih La Chao: 125 Km
TOTAL COURSE LENGTH 745 Km
A beautiful finish!
Medium category dunes but, more importantly, “funnel dunes” where careful navigation was once again more important than speed. On the shores of the majestic Yellow River, today’s Special Stage offers a somewhat bumpy ranking. However, the winners are still fantastic on the road to Beijing.(Old Peking)
In cars, Kahle, cranked up the stakes for the last special event of the 2008 Transoriental. The German team successfully managed to avoid the many traps laid by René Metge. At the gates of Beijing, Kahle stands out as a true strategist in difficult situations. His tactical sense made all the difference. It’s too bad that he was not able to demonstrate his talent earlier in the competition. After two consecutive successes, his performance will still secure third place in the final rankings. Glory goes to the deserving. First winner of the 2008 Transoriental, José-Luis Monterde. This Spaniard and Jean-Marie Lurquin (Schlesser buggy) have finished up the top of the leader board of the world’s longest Rally Trek. The Gibon brothers followed their footsteps in the top rankings (at 4’05”49) ahead of Kahle-Schünemann, who finished 10 minutes behind the French fandom.
Amongst motorcycles, Alexey Kolomytsyn triumphed in the end. At the handlebar of his KTM, this Russian outpaced Mugnaioli and Borsi, the two trans-Alpines who had often travelled together since the start of the Transoriental. Ullevalseter came in ahead of his great rival, Katrinak, but only for the show of it since the general rankings had already been secured. Jaroslav Katrinak (KTM) won the 2008 Transoriental. His runner up was Paal Anders Ullevalseter (KTM). The blond Norwegian never managed to challenge the final victory of the Slovak motorcyclist, and finished more than 25 minutes behind. The last step on the podium went to Kolomytsyn, who finished 1’44” out of first place.
Amongst the French, Dominique Robin (KTM) put in a fine effort and continues to prove himself to be France’s best representative. His 10th place finish for today also provided him with a position in the general standings, ending up on the 3rd step of the final podium in the Marathoncategory.
Because of yesterday evening’s late arrival of the trucks at the Bayan Hot Site, the College of Sports Commissioners decided to add three hours to the maximum allotted time. Yesterday’s stage saw the victory of the German racer Mathias Behringer on Man, ahead of the Spaniards in theTeam Epsilon on Mercedes and the overall leader, Hans Stacey.
For this category’s survivors, today’s special was once again very difficult. Only 2 trucks crossed the finish line in the allotted time. The Dutchman Bekx on Daf won this last special ahead of Stacey. In the final rankings, we therefore have Hans Stacey, Charly Gotlib and Bernard Der Kinderen who won the truck category in this first Transoriental. Vila Roca on Mercedes and Bekx on Daf rounded out the podium of this exceptional and particularly difficult race for trucks.
In the Consistency Rally Trek at the end of his first Transoriental, Latvia was in the spotlight. The Riga Rally Raid Team (Toyota) secured its first victory, with a total of 457 points. In second place was another Toyota of the Sports Antilless Mécanique team (538 points), and the Land Discovery of the Swiss from the Gstaad Automobile Club (737 points)."