|Dakar 2010: Marc Coma fighting again with Stage-Win on SS6.|
The many navigation mistakes of his contenders allowed Marc Coma to finish with the best time of the day in the bike category and to move up four places in the overall standings. Moreover Italian rider Luca Manca, who was ranking ninth this morning in the overall standings, had to be evacuated from the track after a very serious fall in the early hours of the stage (see special press release). In the car category, Stéphane Peterhansel beat all three top Volkswagen winning the 53rd special stage of his Dakar career.
Performance and riding technique - of course but in rally raid you recognize champions at the way they navigate too. If there was any demonstration of that fact needed, Marc Coma gave another proof of his navigation talent today between Antofagasta and Iquique. The first part of the special stage was a particularly challenging navigation test.
"Chaleco" himself - who was opening the track as yesterday’s special stage winner - was caught in the trap despite his knowledge of the area. After a bad choice at km 23, Lopez lost some precious minutes and took along some of the best "outsiders" of the raid like David Frétigné, Alain Duclos, Paulo Goncalves or Pal-Anders Ullevalseter. As for the leader in the overall standings, Cyril Despres did not allow being influenced by the Aprilia rider. Luckily because he was able to keep a tidy and flawless race, making the right choices when interpreting the road-book he managed to get to the finish line on a sober strategy and a good but not too fast pace.
Having left a little further behind the leaders in ninth position, the title holder managed to avoid "nav traps". Coma also decided to speed things up to climb back a few places in the standings. This proved to be the right strategy for the Spaniard who regains about 10’ on Cyril Despres and is now 1h06’ behind the standings leader. This 9th special stage victory also allows him to pass the like of Jonah Street, Paulo Goncalves, Pal-Anders Ullevalseter and Alain Duclos in the standings. He jumps four places in one day even if the other places he still needs to jump might be harder to conquer.
2010/01/07 | 19:51 CET | Editor: MR/HS/ASO/Poucan