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Sardegna Rally Race: Victory for Viladoms, Coma withdraws after a fall.

The penultimate stage of the Rally Sardinia brought the end to Marc Coma`s great race, he had been the clear leader of this round of the World Championship race until today. The Repsol rider fell on the day`s first special and was forced to withdraw with a fractured left wrist and clavicula. His teammate, Jordi Viladoms, won the first special and is now third in the overall.

Coma`s fall, just 3km after the start of the 4th stage, was on a wide and fast fire break that the organisers had marked as not having any special dangers. The Repsol rider came acroos two consecutive bumps, the second of them with several stones hidden in the grass, and these are what he hit and he was thrown off his bike. At that moment a helicopter took him to the Hospital San Martino in Oristano just after 11am.

After several X-rays he was diagnosed as having a fractured collar bone and another on his wrist (on the radius close to the wrist). He will arrive in Spain this evening and will be taken to the USP Institut Universitari Dexeus for more checks to confirm the exact extent of his injuries and to decide the treatment he will have to follow.

In the race itself Jordi Viladoms had a great ride and set the fastest time. The Repsol rider rode at a very high level on the two specials, and now that his teammate has withdrawn tomorrow he will fight to finish second on the podium. The final day takes the riders to the starting point of the rally, in San Teodoro, and there are another two specials, one of 84km and the other of 68km.

Marc Coma: "I fell at the start on a track that was wide and fast, I came across some stones just after two bumps and I flew over the handlebars. Then a doctor on a motorbike arrived and I was taken to a hospital by helicopter, there I had some checks done on me. After the fall we though I might have some ribs broken or damaged lungs, but in the end I was diagnosed with a fracture on the left wrist and clavicula. We will fly to Spain this evening and we will find out exactly what the problem is and how much time I will need to recover."

Jordi Viladoms: "On the one hand I am worried about Marc [Coma], it is important to see exactly how he is, and on the other I am pleased because I had a good pace again and I had a good stage. The first part of the first special was quite dangerous as it was on a wide fire break going downhill and you could go really fast, but with the risk of coming across stones hidden in the grass, this is what ruined Marc`s race. At that moment only six riders had started because it was very close to the start of the special, and while he was being taken to hosp├Čtal by helicopter, the race was stopped until it it was available again. The special was very fast on the first 20km, with a lot of stones and then on a track that was very similar to those on the first few days, and with some complicated navigation. The second special was in a very green leafy forest, along a very picturesque track, with a lot of traction, and once again with a lot of navigation."

2009/06/01 | 18:23 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Repsol

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