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OiLibya Rally 2009 Special-Newssection (FIA Cross Country Worldcup)

This is the single-news section of the special of the OiLibya Rally 2009, second round of the FIA Worldcup for Cross Country Rallys. To see all news please use the link under the article or navigate with the left main-navigation.

OiLibya Rally: Another stage victory for Marc Coma.

The ninth stage of this edition of the Rally of Tunisia saw Marc Coma carry off another stage victory, piling the pressure on the new leader of the overall classification – Cyril Despres – when there are only two days and 507 kilometres of timed specials left. With his victory today, the third in this rally, the Repsol rider cut the gap on Cyril Despres down to 4 minutes 2 seconds, he is now 4 minutes 57 seconds ahead.

Starting out third after his classification on yesterday`s stage, Coma did not take long to catch Despres up, the rider who was opening up the tracks.From kilometre 60 they rode together on a special that was quite fast. They left the mountains behind at the start and then entered the desert via a cross-country section which ended up taking the riders through some sand dunes. Afterwards came a fast track, a little up and down, which carried them to the oasis of Ksar Ghilane, where they arrived in a group.

Coma`s Team Repsol KTM teammate, Jordi Viladoms, finished in fourth position, seven minutes and a half behind the team leader, and two after “Chaleco” López, who is now 4 minutes 7 seconds ahead of him in the overall classification. The Repsol rider, with what happened yesterday still fresh in his mind, did not want to take the slightest risk with his rear tyre, so he kept a pace that was always lower than 140 km/h, he therefore lost a few minutes in the overall classification.

Tomorrow sees the penultimate stage of the rally, the special is 363 kilometres long, and far from making things easy for the riders as they start the run in to the finish, it is a route that may well determine the outcome of the race. On paper the white dunes and the chotts on the way to Tozeur will force the riders to keep their guard up right to the end of demanding special section, which leaves everything up in the air regarding the final overall classification.

“Today we had a stage without any complications, and perhaps the erg, sand dunes, that we had to pass through was the most interesting part. I caught Cyril [Despres] up very quickly, but it was impossible to shake him off and get away.

Things are complicated for us now, because tomorrow we will have to open up the tracks and in theory it is a stage with sand dunes, a lot of crross-country where the others have everything in their favour to catch me up. Obviously we will continue to plug away, we will do our best to make sure we are not caught, and hope that nothing starnge happens,” said Marc Coma.

“It was a complicated day for me, because the special was very fast and I could not take any risks by going faster than I should. It was the time to be extra careful, because yesterday I thought I had lowered the pace enough, but I was left without mousse. I made a mistake and today I was determined that it was not going to be repeated, so I did not go faster than 140 km/h, and in the end nothing happened.

You feel a little powerless, because the rally was going well but in the end you cannot ride normally. There was a pass through sand dunes where I was able to go faster and make up a little ground, but as soon as we were back on the tracks, especially some with a lot of stones, I could not take any risks all. The good thing is that nothing untoward has happened, and tomorrow we still have another tough day ahead of us, so we will carry on what we are doing,” said Jordi Viladoms.

Results Stage 9
1. Marc COMA 2:58.12
2. Cyril DESPRES 3:02.14
3. Francisco LÓPEZ 3:03.39
4. Jordi VILADOMS 3:05.43
5. David CASTEU 3:12.33

General Classification
1. Cyril DESPRES 25:16.48
2. Marc COMA + 04.57
3. Francisco LÓPEZ + 50.25
4. Jordi VILADOMS + 54.32
5. Pal Anders ULLEVALSETER + 1:13.26

2009/05/01 | 00:30 CET | Editor: MR/Repsol/Rita Konya

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