Completing the stage in ninth, 13th and 14th positions respectively, all three riders successfully finished the first half of the super marathon stage without problems, but a little frustrated that they hadn’t been able to better maximise their advantageous start positions. Jamie McCanney, the team’s fourth member, also completed the demanding stage without issues, in 34th position.
Finishing the stage as the team’s highest placed rider, Xavier de Soultrait initially improved from his 13th place starting position. Working his way up to ninth by the first waypoint he then struggled with dust and sensibly opted not to take any unnecessary risks. Once ahead of the riders in front of him he was able to increase his pace and safely complete the stage in a time of just over six minutes behind the day’s motorcycle-class winner.
Focusing on his navigation possibly a little too intently, Adrien Van Beveren ended stage two having lost more time to his rivals than he wanted. Still not willing to push harder than he feels comfortable on the unforgiving Saudi terrain, Van Beveren nevertheless completed the first half of super marathon stage with no issues and looking to improve his speed and rhythm on stage three.
Franco Caimi was the Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team rider who lost out the most on stage two. Riding at a strong pace up until around the 100-kilometre mark, a technical issue with his road book then slowed his pace. Forced to ride one-handed while manually advancing his road book, he dropped from a position comfortably within the top 10 to 14th.
Enjoying the challenges of stage two, Jamie McCanney battled many hours of racing in dust, focusing hard on his roadbook and making sure he stayed on track throughout the day. Riding with others and increasing his pace during the second half of the stage, he sits in 32nd overall and as the second-best Dakar rookie.
Stage three of the 2020 Dakar Rally, a loop stage from Neom to Neom featuring a 427 km timed special, will take competitors close to the border with Jordan with the rally reaching its highest point of 1,400 meters. Terrain will feature canyons, mountains and sand.