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Javier Varela: "We are going to recover the Rally Raid concept."
From April 7th to 13th of the upcoming month, the third edition of the A Estrada Rally will be held in the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula. Scoring for the European and Spanish Rally TT championships, as well as for the Galician raid championship, anticipation is at its peak among pilots and fans.
While the routes of a navigation rally are entirely unknown, Javier Varela, roadbook manager of Adventure Galicia, reveals some of the keys to this imminent rally.
We know that Adventure Galicia's roadbooks are characterized by their intensity, but what type of rally will the pilots face in terms of the difficulty of the route?
"I'm trying not to include enduro zones. This rally won't be as demanding as last year's, prioritizing fast zones. The time changes a few days before, but last year it was in September and this one is in April, so we'll remove the most rugged areas. We'll have the entire route done with 4x4, so it will be more bearable and open to any motorcycle. This is Galicia and the area is what it is, but it will be very passable. It will be a rally to enjoy, easier, but we'll also have one more day of racing."
In this sense, the total number of kilometers is also crucial. How many are we talking about?
"For the moment, I can tell you that it will be more than 1000 and less than 2000, but enough, for sure."
You have announced a rally consisting of a prologue and six stages, including a marathon stage.
“That’s right. The prologue ill have nothing to do with last year’s. It ill be a very fast time trial. Everyone ill have the roadbook, of course, but it ill be closed to traffic and with taped crossings. It’s going to be fast and short. Surely in stage 1, the fastest pilots ill start ahead and they ill have to navigate.”
How will the stages be distributed?
"There are six days of racing. Stage one will be around the A Estrada area. Stage two will be the first of the marathon stage heading to the mountains of Ourense and stage three will be the return. Stages four, five, and six will also be around the A Estrada area."
What will the marathon stage consist of?
"They will be long days, with more liaison than usual, so there will be quite a few kilometers. The mountains of Ourense also have their own charm and will be a way to disconnect from A Estrada, but they won't be rest days. They'll have their liaisons but also their timed sections, and the next day there will be more timed sections and a return to A Estrada."
Regarding the logistics and assistance of the marathon stage, what can you tell us in advance?
"At the end of the special stage, already in the closed park, or rather in the work park, the pilots will be able to make the necessary repairs to their bikes for a set time. After this time, the bikes will spend the night in a closed park. Only the pilots can touch the bikes. They can help each other, but they won't have the assistance of their teams other than to provide them with some spare parts or tools. The organization will be responsible for transporting for each pilot a backpack with clothes and a toolbox with the necessary spare parts for a day. We all know what we need to check on our bikes or what spare part we'll need to change on the day. In addition, the organization will take care of making accommodation reservations, so the pilots won't have to worry about anything."
The mountains of Ourense are a considerable distance from A Estrada. It seems that the Rally will cover much of the Galician community.
"We'll be changing regions and even provinces. We're going to ride through half of Galicia. Through some really cool places. We're going to discover Galicia to the Galicians themselves."
Regarding the dreaded speed limits. Will the pilots be subject to constant control on the liaisons or will there be neutralized zones within the special stages?
"We'll have speed limits in towns, as it should be, and when we're in the special stages, we'll also have speed limits. But there will be liaisons out of the timed sections without controls to give the throttle hand a rest. For example, on the two days of the marathon stage, it's very difficult to link everything through the countryside, so we'll have liaisons out of the timed sections."
How would you describe this new edition of the A Estrada Rally?
"It's going to be a huge adventure. We are going to recover the Rally Raid concept, Adventure, of course! We will manage to dislocate the pilots. They will know where they come from, but they will not know where they are or where they are going. This is the adventure they were waiting for."
All information and registrations at https://adventuregalicia.com/
Source: Pablo Pillado. Photos: Ingine Creators
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