Comfortable lead for Coma going in final stage of 2009 Dakar KTM factory riders Marc Coma and Cyril Despres continued their dominance in Stage 13 of the Dakar 2009, with Coma in overall lead with an impressive margin over Despres, who notched up...
Comfortable lead for Coma going in final stage of 2009 Dakar
KTM factory riders Marc Coma and Cyril Despres continued their dominance in Stage 13 of the Dakar 2009, with Coma in overall lead with an impressive margin over Despres, who notched up another stage win just before riders head for Buenos Aires.
Heavy overnight rain in the La Rioja and Cordoba region caused organizers to slim down the program to just 220 km of special and Despres (Red Bull KTM) came in ahead of Coma (Repsol KTM), with David Fretigne third. In French, the language of the bivouac, there's an expression which roughly translated says: 'those with no problems have no story to tell'. So it is with Marc Coma who, with just one day of racing left, remains solidly installed at the top of the rankings 1h28'03 ahead of Despres with Fretigne third (at 1h34'47).
Marc Coma (Repsol KTM) 2nd (at 1'45) 1st overall
There was no real navigation today, just a nice smooth track. It was a little slippery so you couldn't go too fast and anyway there was no point taking any risks. Clearly, going into the last stage, I have a good position, but here is not like Lac Rose, where there is just a short 20 kilometer special. Tomorrow we will have a proper stage and so I need to stay concentrated. We have learnt from what happened in 2007 and won't make the same mistake again. (In 2007 Coma, who looked a sure winner going into the final stage of the Dakar in Africa then crashed and had to withdraw, leaving the glory to Despres.)
Cyril Despres (Red Bull KTM) 1st and 2nd overall (at 1h28'03)
I started this morning with only a slim lead over Fretigne, so I had no choice but to attack a little. The special was pure WRC, nice smooth corners where you could let the back end of the bike hang out and have some fun. A couple of times I was surprised by rocks in the middle of the track, but apart from that no problems.
Jordi Viladoms (Repsol KTM) 4th (at 3'52)
I was in a good position to post a strong result today, but I caught Alain (Duclos) after just 30 or 40 kilometres and got stuck in his dust. Towards the end he saw me and picked up the pace. It could have been worse -- I could have got stuck behind a slower ride - but I still feel a little frustrated.
Alain Duclos (Kaestle KTM) 6th (at 4'05)
Even after two weeks on the bike I still want to ride and enjoy myself. Unfortunately I got stuck in Przygonski's dust. Still sixth on the stage isn't too bad and means I will start close to Cyril if he needs me.
Back to Buenos Aires
Riders at last embark on the final stage of their journey that has taken them through a large part of Argentina and Chile and has confronted them with a whole range of always challenging landscapes. Stage 14, comprises a liaison of 224 km, a timed special of 227 km and a final 324 km liaison back to the Argentine capital where they started this unique adventure back in January 3, 2009.