|Dakar Rally 2014: KTM´s "Chaleco" Lopez and Marc Coma 2-3 in tough Stage 4.|
Red Bull KTM Factory riders Francisco "Chaleco" Lopez of Chile and Spain’s Marc Coma had a good day out in Stage 4 of the Dakar 2014 on Wednesday, finishing 2-3 in the stage. Coma has moved up to second overall and trails by only 3:10 minutes and Lopez is in third overall, 5:12 mins behind the leader.
The marathon stage proved to be an early shakeout and while anything is possible in the Dakar, a handful of riders now seem to be in command of the overall standings. Only the top five are within half an hour of the leader and Coma and Lopez are well placed in this group.
Riders still have to face a second marathon stage after they enter Bolivia for the first time after Saturday’s rest day, and there are still the many kilometers of desert riding in Chile before they reach the finish in Valparaiso.
The stage took riders from San Juan to Chilecito over 210 km liaison and a timed special of 353 km for a total of 563 km. Navigation played an important part in the first part and above all, riders had to nurse their tires, already badly worn from the previous day, through the entire day.
Lopez had a great day, finishing only 29 seconds behind the stage winner, Joan Pedrero. Coma, who is bidding for his fourth Dakar title, trimmed the gap to overall leader, Barreda of Spain, to just 3:10 mins. Lopez commented briefly at the end of his stage: "Stone, river, stone – a very technical route but my tires were good enough." Coma also said it was "a long and tough day."
Factory teammate Jordi Viladoms was eleventh on Wednesday and is ninth in the overall standings some 40:14 minutes behind the leader. The fourth team member, Ruben Faria of Portugal crashed in Tuesday’s stage and is out of the race.
KTM Factory Team Manager Alex Doringer was a happy man after Stage Four: "The bike and our riders did a fantastic job. Both days of the marathon were very intense. Coma and Lopez did a fantastic marathon," he commented. The factory riders are competing on the brand new KTM 450 Rally bike.
KTM-supported rider Jakub Przygonski of Poland is currently overall 10th and Riaan van Niekerk of South Africa is twenty-second after a long day. He lost two hours in the stage through navigational issues. Australia’s Ben Grabham crashed and is also out.
Overall results SS04 San Juan - Chilecito 352 km
||Barreda Bort, Joan (ES)
||Coma, Marc (ES)
||Lopez Contardo, Francisco (CHL)
||Duclos, Alain (F)
||Pain, Olivier (F)
||Despres, Cyril (F)
||Casteu, David (F)
||Israel Esquerre, Jeremias (CHL)
||Viladoms, Jordi (ES)
||Przygonski, Jakub (PL)
View all results: Please [ CLICK HERE ]
2014/01/08 | 23:25 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/WF