Dakar: Repsol stage 15 report

REPSOL TAKES TWO CLASS VICTORIES FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE HISTORY OF THE DAKAR Marc Coma clinches his first victory in the motorbike class, the second of a Spanish rider. He is joined on the podium by team mate Giovanni Sala. Luc Alphand...

REPSOL TAKES TWO CLASS VICTORIES FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE HISTORY OF THE DAKAR

Marc Coma clinches his first victory in the motorbike class, the second of a Spanish rider. He is joined on the podium by team mate Giovanni Sala.

Luc Alphand takes his first victory in the car class and Nani Roma steps on the podium for the first time in his second year in the class

Second Spanish victory in the Dakar and success for Repsol riders and drivers. The last day of the 2006 edition finished with the traditional arrival in Lake Rose, very close to the Senegalese capital, where the podium ceremony was staged, crowning Marc Coma as the winner of the motorbike class. In the car class, Luc Alphand clinched his first victory as well and the Repsol YPF teams managed thus to take the victory in both classes for the first time in the history of the Dakar Rally.

Today's stage was run but neutralised. The race organisation had taken this decision as a sign of mourning for the tragic events of the last days, so that riders and drivers covered the last special without their times being taken. The overall standings from yesterday marked the end of the race and Marc Coma finished as the brilliant winner in the motorbike class with an advantage of 1h13m29s over his highest rival, Frenchman Cyril Despres. He was joined on the podium by team mate Giovanni Sala while Chilean rider Carlo de Gavardo finished fifth.

Luc Alphand took the win with a shorter advantage -17m53s- over South African rider De Villiers and was joined on the podium by Nani Roma. The Spanish rider managed to take an excellent third place in his second year in the car class, after a wonderful Dakar Rally, driving safely and very efficiently, allowing him to be always among the top. Stephane Peterhansel, winner of the 2005 Dakar finished the race in fourth place.

Marc Coma: "I'm very happy because bit by bit I'm becoming conscious of what I've made. I want to dedicate the rally to Andy Caldecott because he paid a very high price for his passion. I want to thank the team for the whole work they've done, the people from KTM, the people from Repsol, and especially Jordi Arcarons who helped me a lot during this rally".

Nani Roma: "It's been a very positive rally. The Repsol Mitsubishi Team has taken the victory and that was our aim. Luc Alphand has been the winner and I'm on the podium, which was also my aim, and the best has been my progression. Now I think that I'm able to fight for the victory next year ".

-repsol-

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