Day 9 Dakar 2014: Coma Wins, Increases Overall LeadTue, 14 Jan 2014
The ninth stage took the field to the northernmost point of this year’s Dakar. The riders descended from yesterday’s plateau through the Atacama desert towards the Pacific Ocean. Sand and dunes challenged the athletes especially in the final third of the stage, demanding excellent navigation skills. In between the organizers had placed fast sections with dangerous diagonal grooves and creek beds, ending with the spectacular downhill part to the coastal town of Iquique.
Third to start this morning, behind Joan Barreda and Cyril Despres, Coma soon caught up with his adversaries to win his 23rd special stage victory on the Dakar, his second in 2014, 1:21 ahead of his now sole rival, Barreda, and 5:28 in front of Frenchman, Despres. Engaged in a frantic climb up the general standings, Despres gained another place today and is currently in 8th position, but still almost 2 hours and 30 minutes behind leader Coma.
Behind the top three Alain Duclos was betrayed by a valve on his Sherco and had to be towed to the bivouac. The Franco-Malian therefore loses all hopes of a good result in the general standings. A special mention should go to Laia Sanz (pictured above), the leading lady in the general standings, who recorded a fantastic 9th best time of the day.
Provisional results Stage 8:
1. Marc Coma (ESP, KTM) 04:49:05 hrs
2. Joan Barreda (ESP, Honda) +00:01:41
3. Cyril Despres (FRA, Yamaha) +00:05:28
4. Juan Pedrero Garcia (ESP, Sherco) +00:08:43
5. Stefan Svitko (SVK, KTM) +00:09:42
6. Jordi Viladoms (ESP, KTM) +00:11:23
7. Helder Rodrigues (PRT, Honda) +00:11:44
8. Ivan Jakes (SVK, KTM) +00:13:40
9. Laia Sanz (ESP, Honda) +00:14:34
10. Jeremias Israel Esquerre (CHL, Speedbrain) +00:15:01
Provisional overall standings:
1. Marc Coma (ESP, KTM) 36:55:24 hrs
2. Joan Barreda (ESP, Honda) +00:40:19
3. Jordi Viladoms (ESP, KTM) +01:38:45
4. Jeremias Israel Esquerre (CHL, Speedbrain) +02:07:06
5. Olivier Pain (FRA, Yamaha) +02:16:10
6. Helder Rodrigues (PRT, Honda) +02:24:25
7. Jakub Przygonski (POL, KTM) +02:25:16
8. Cyril Despres (FRA, Yamaha) +02:29:56
9. Daniel Gouet (CHL, Honda) +02:57:42
10. David Casteu (FRA, KTM) +03:23:06
By Tom Roderick
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