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Marc Coma still overall leader after stage 2.

Over the second short stage victory went to Frans Verhoeven (KTM) 0'41 ahead of Cyril Despres (Red Bull KTM) with David Fretigne third (at 1'04).
Despite running into problems with his oil cooler, Marc Coma (Repsol KTM) maintains his overall lead 13'47 ahead of Verhoeven with Fretigne third (at 16'51). Enjoying a better run than yesterday, Jordi Viladoms (Repsol KTM) moves up from 20th to 11th overall (at 29'28) just ahead of Cyril Despres (at 30'02).

Cyril Despres (Red Bull KTM) 2nd (at 0'41) 12th overall (at 30'02): Despite the dust on the first part of the stage I got past 4 or 5 riders early on and was going well until I started to feel that the rear shock wasn't working as it should be. I stopped at km 50 to have a good look and realised there was a problem with the rebound damping. Then a little later on, in the first off-piste section, I hit a small tuft of grass and was thrown up in the air and over the bars. I landed heavily and damaged the navigation gear. Not wanting to get lost in this area I quickly got on the bike and chased after the others, before carrying out further repairs once we got to the piste again. I think in all I lost about 6 or 7 minutes which is disappointing. On the other hand this evening I am only 30 minutes behind Marc and 30 minutes is much better than 40!

Jordi Viladoms (Repsol KTM) 4th (at 1'33) 11th overall (at 29'28): I started in 20th place and on the first part it was impossible to pass the slower riders in the dust. Then we got to the off-piste part and I was able to go a little bit faster. I thought I had finished about 10th so when I got to the bivouac and discovered I was 4th I was pretty happy. There were a few stony parts on the course and as I was riding with an inner tube I had to take it easy. Maybe I could have gone faster with a mousse, but maybe not. Each solution has its advantages and disadvantages…

Marc Coma (Repsol KTM) 17th (at 12'27) 1st overall: Everything was going normally and I was looking forward to having another good day when, at about kilometre 100, the oil cooler developed a leak - I knew straightaway ‘cos my face got covered in the stuff! I stopped to make repairs with some magic metal and then kept stopping to check the oil level and ‘borrow' oil from spectators. In the end I was just happy to get to the end. Obviously I lost some time but I am still in the lead and it could have been a lot worse. This really is the Dakar and I think every day will be eventful.

Alain Duclos (Kaestle KTM) 92nd (3h08'39) 184th overall (at 8h19'01): I started almost last this morning after yesterday's misadventures and was determined to pull back some places and get out of the dust. And everything was going well until I ran out of petrol at km 101. The rear fuel pipe connector had broken and I had lost all my gas. I managed to persuade some locals to go and find me some and they came back after 15 minutes and filled me up. While I was waiting all the riders I had overtake came past me and I had to get by them all again. Here's hoping I have a better day tomorrow!

2009/01/05 | 15:06 CET | Editor: MR/HS/KTM

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