GS Trophy 2012

Day 2 As It Happened

After a tough and dusty first day, the GS Trophy teams swapped land for water on day two as they took on the challenge of a special rafting exercise designed to test their sea legs, while having as much fun as possible.

Another beautiful day greeted the participants as they heard about this latest task during the morning briefing that followed breakfast.

As is the tradition of the Trophy, it was another early start, with participants out on the GS bikes in the cool morning sun for a short, 30km liaison to the banks of the fast flowing Rio Alumine. This was where they parked up, changed out of their rider gear and jumped into a fleet of 4x4 trucks that transported them 12km upstream where a collection of water rafts awaited them.

Life vests and helmets were handed out, and after a quick safety briefing, it was time for the first Special of the day to begin. In teams of seven (two teams of three, plus one journalist in each boat) the 10 rafts were lined up and each 'crew' had to pick up the boat, carry it 20 metres to the river, jump in and sit down, ready to go – all against the clock of course!

What followed was an adrenaline-filled 12 kilometre rollercoaster ride downstream, surfing the whitewater rapids and dodging the rocks that hid just below the surface and threatened to tip the boats over. Some two hours later, the teams arrived back at their bikes, but their work wasn't over just yet... From the moment their paddles touched the banks of the river, the clock started ticking again, while they carried their boats out of the water, raced up to the finish line, placed their helmets, life vests and paddles in a line before the clock could be stopped.

Having worked up an appetite with all this physical exertion, they could finally relax with a picnic by the river, before a timed Special took riders through a boggy, slippery section against the clock. Then, a final liaison on the bikes took competitors on tracks and trails approximately 100km towards the overnight stop at the magnificent San Huberto Estancia.

A hearty evening meal was concluded with an update of the all-important daily scores, where BMW Motorrad's Christian Pingitzer revealed that the winner of today's stage was Team UK, with France second and Canada third. This means that the French take the overall lead, with Latin America dropping down to second place overall, and the UK moving up to third place in the rankings.

Tomorrow promises to be one of the toughest Trophy days of the week, as competitors will have a 6am wake-up call, before facing a 450km Marathon riding day, two-thirds of which will be off-road, with two Special stages on top. And as if the scenery isn't beautiful enough already, the Trophy will move into the 'real' Patagonia, where the landscape is breathtaking and the riding long, wide and of course as dusty as ever.

1. France – 56
2. Latin America – 47
3. UK – 46
3. Italy – 46
5. Team Alps – 44
6. Canada – 43
7. CEEU – 40
8. Germany – 38
8. Argentina – 38
10. USA – 26
11. South Africa – 21
12. Russia – 20
13. Brazil – 19
13. Japan – 19
15. Spain – 12