The opening stage of the Silk Way Rally eased riders into the 10-day event with a relatively short 87-kilometre special. Departing from Omsk, riders enjoyed bumpy gravel tracks, woodland, and grassy pastures before completing a long liaison, which brought them to the overnight bivouac in Novosibirsk.
Picking up from where he left off at round one of the FIM Cross-Country World Rallies Championship, Ross Branch was immediately on the pace at the Silk Way Rally. As the 10th rider to enter the opening stage of the event, Branch was able to follow in the wheel tracks of the riders ahead of him to remain in the top three through each waypoint. Going on to end the special as runner-up following a calculated and mistake-free ride aboard his Yamaha WR450F Rally, Ross now looks forward to tomorrow’s second stage.
Close behind Ross in third place was his Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team teammate, Adrien Van Beveren. Thoroughly enjoying his time on his bike and the terrain that stage one offered, the Frenchman rode alone for the most part and relied on his navigational skills for much of the special. At the end of the 87-kilometre stage, Adrien was rewarded for his efforts with an impressive third-place finish.
Completing a strong start for the team at the Silk Way Rally, Andrew Short was the seventh fastest rider through the opening timed special of the event. As a podium finisher at the rally in 2019, the American is well-aware of the challenges he’ll face during the remaining nine days and opted for a cautious approach on day one in order to deliver a strong finish.
Stage two of the Silk Way Rally takes place tomorrow and will provide all riders with a huge variety of terrain. The special opens with hardpack desert tracks before entering a forest where riders will need to proceed with caution through its muddy tracks. The terrain then changes to sand, before reaching a section of gravel towards the end of the special.