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UAE Desert Challenge 2008 Special-Newssection (FIA Cross Country Worldcup)

This is the single-news section of the special of the UAE Desert Challenge 2008, last 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.

UAE Desert Challenge: Marc Coma second in toughest stage of the rally.

The third stage of the UAE Desert Challenge 2008 promised to be tough and this is how it turned out. Marc Coma, who started third after yesterday`s classification, attacked from the off so as to try and get some distance between himself and his closest rival in the overall standings, the French rider Cyril Despres. The script went as planned and after catching Rubén Faria and "Chaleco" López at kilometre 40, the Repsol rider began to open up the tracks over a distance of 300km, and at a pace that nobody else was able to keep up with.

The demands of this stage became patent 5km from the end since the fast pace, the type of terrain combined with the high temperatures affected the petrol consumption on his KTM, which in the end stopped. After laying it on the ground he was able to recover a litre and a half from one of the tanks at the front end and to continue at a slow pace until the end of the special. In spite of these problems Coma was second on today`s stage and occupies the same position in the overall, just 4 seconds behind Despres.

For Jordi Viladoms the special was more positive than the two previous ones, and even though he started down the field he was able to find a good pace which let him cross the finishing line with the 7th fastest time. The Repsol rider had a ride in a group today, more and more riders joined him until there were eight of them. In the end some of the others were left behind, and in spite of the tiredness Viladoms is pleased with having recovered his good sensations in the desert bit by bit.

Tomorrow sees the final stage in Moreeb, 314km long, before the rally finishes on Friday with the special that takes the riders once again to the capital, Abu Dhabi.

Marc Coma: "I attacked from the very start and today`s stage went well right to the end. I had a small problem with the petrol, that made me lose five minutes. Luckily, it is practically the lead I had built up today and it is important in spite of the problems we have had to still be in with a chance of winning. After the tyre problem on the Monday and with the fuel today the most normal thing would have been to have been out of the running, but we are still very close. This was the toughest stage so far, the first part was fast and towards the end more dunes, as always on very soft sand. The last 100 km seemed very long as it was very hot and it is very tiring to open the tracks up all day. Riding at a constanty fast pace is also very demanding and requires a lot of concentration. We will see what happens on the couple of days that are left in the race."

Jordi Viladoms: "Today I started down the field and right away we formed a group of riders, which got bigger and bigger, up to eight of us together. We took turns to take the lead, first some and then others. This stage was very long, very tiring, but in a group at least it was more fun. We were so mnay riders together that at times it seemed like motocross, because all eight of us wanted to arrive before the rest in the group. In spite of it being a very long stage I felt better on the bike and my confidence is growing. The terrain was similar to yesterday`s, in some zones we passed through places we saw yesterday."

2008/10/29 | 15:45 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Repsol

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