Coma keeps the second place
The MRW rider had a good performance in the stage while opening track and finished second behind Despres, the overall leader. His team mate Joan Pedrero is still eighth after finishing thirteenth today.
After winning the stage yesterday, Marc Coma was the first on track for the 186 timed kilometres of today, which he completed with the second fastest time, 1 minute and 41 seconds behind French Cyril Despres, who is leading the overall standings with an advantage of 9 minutes and 51 seconds over the MRW rider. His team mate, Joan Pedrero, was today thirteenth and keeps the eighth place overall.
Riding at a level much higher than the rest, the duel between Cyril Despres and Marc Coma required again the best performance to both riders, who have one two stages each after five days of rally. Coma, who yesterday recovered 2 minutes and 2 seconds, started first in a stage that was cut by 79 kilometres in its final part due to the heavy rains of the last few days. Opening the track, the MRW rider saw how the French was able to recover 1 minute and 41 seconds.
The two three times winners pushed so hard that the third classified rider is already more than 45 minutes behind. The third is in a group of 7 riders that are having a hard-fought battle, only separated by 15 minutes, where there is also Joan Pedrero. In a stage once again extremely tough, the MRW rider had some minor navigation problems in the first kilometres and a scare at the end of the stage, which forced him to slow the pace, crossing the finish line with the thirteenth fastest time. Nevertheless, Pedrero keeps the eighth place, only 6 seconds behind the seventh.
The sixth stage of this 2012 Dakar will take the participants tomorrow to the second country hosting the race, Chile. From Fiambalá to Copiapó, they will have to do a total of 641 kilometres, divided in a 394 kilometre link and a 247-kilometre stage. The MRW will have to face at night the long climb to Paso de San Francisco —4.700 metres height— where they will cross the frontier.