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Monster Energy Honda Team’s Kevin Benavides won the first Chinese stage of the Silk Way Rally. The eighth and final stage of the rally saw the riders traversing from Mongolia to China. Kevin was followed by Yamaha Rally Team’s Adrian Van Beveren and Hero MotoSports’ Paulo Goncalves.
Red Bull KTM Factory team’s Sam Sunderland maintained his lead in the overall standings despite crashing in the eighth stage. Tailing him in the overall standings was his teammate, Luciano Benavides followed by Kevin Benavides.
The eighth stage was not only the longest with a total distance of 785km but also the most grueling. Tackling the high dunes of the Gobi desert was a challenge for riders. The riders also faced a range of other obstacles in the form of dry riverbeds, ravines, canyons and steppes.
Speaking about his win, Kevin Benavides said “Today I feel really good. I really enjoyed the first stage in China. It was very different from what we’ve had until now. More navigation, more desert and the dunes. It is an amazing place (China). I am happy with my work today. We have two more days and my goal is to try and recover time.”
1. Sam Sunderland – Red Bull KTM factory Racing: 19:30:40
2.Kevin Benavides – Monster Energy Honda Team: 19:56:08
3.Adrien Van Beveren – Yamaha Rally Team: 20:25:24
4.Luciano Benavides – Red Bull KTM Factory Racing: 20:51:43