Crossing over from Argentina to Chile, today's stage went to Marc Coma just 16 seconds ahead of Cyril Despres (Red Bull KTM) with Chaleco Lopez in third place (at 2'05). Overall Coma takes the lead just 2 seconds ahead of Cyril with Goncalves taking Ruben Faria's third place after the Portuguese rider lost time searching for a waypoint. Ruben finally finished in 22nd place and is now down in 7th place overall (at 27'07).
"The Dakar is always pushing your limits. Today we got up very early, rode 550 kilometres across the Andes, the first part in the rain, and reached an altitude of 4800 metres. Then the scenery changed completely for a 200 kilometre special in the desert. A perfect example of the fantastic variety South America has to offer the sport of rally-raid.
Over the special the pace was very fast and a lot of fun to ride. With the open terrain and the dust I could see Marc (Coma) up ahead and we raced each other at a distance to finish with a time difference of just 16 seconds! This evening looking at the results I was amused to see I am in second place on bike number 2, two seconds behind the leader. That is a lot of 'twos' for 1 day!"
-source: Cyril Despres