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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: Problems take Coma away from a victory.

After demonstrating over four days that he was in great form and able to impose a much faster pace than the rest of his rivals, a mechanical problem has definitively taken Marc Coma away from any chance of a victory in the UAE Desert Challenge 2008. The Repsol rider had been opening the tracks up next to Cyril Despres after recovering the two minute difference from the start, a result that made him overall leader with just one day left in the rally. But at kilometre 309, only five kilometres from the end of the special, the gearbox on his KTM 690 broke. After the application of a penalty he will only be able to finish the race tomorrow, as the riders return to Dubai, but this means he can continue with his preparations for the Dakar 2009.

Jordi Viladoms had another positive stage again today, since he rode comfortably and got more kilometres under his belt, something he needs to regain confidence and a competitive pace. In the end he was seventh, in spite of losing some time trapped in a dune. After pushing and digging he was able to start up again and carry on at a good pace. The Repsol rider stays fifth in the overall, just four seconds from the rider classified in fourth position.

Today's stage, 314 kilometres long, went along fast sandy tracks, but also crossed two areas of very soft more technical sand-dunes, where it was very easy to get trapped. Tomorrow the final stage in this rally will take place, with the dispute of two special sections, one of 118 kilometres and the other of 166km, towards the city of Dubai where the 2008 edition of the UAE Desert Challenge will finish.

The third member of the Repsol KTM team, Gerard Farrés, arrived in Barcelona yesterday where he was examined by Dr. Xavier Mir. The different tests carried out in USP Insitut Universitari Dexeus confirmed that he has a fractured radius on his left arm. Fortunately, the recovery from this injury does not present any special difficulties and Farrés will be fit enough to be able to tackle the Dakar 2009 that will start in two months time in Buenos Aires.

Marc Coma: "This has been really bad luck. The truth is that since the first day we have had a few small setbacks, but the pace was good and in spite of everything we had a chance of winning the race. But what happened today was unavoidable. It is a pity because we were having a good race, even with the problems, and we had a chance of winning. Today's stage was going well. Cyril [Despres] and I opened up the tracks together the whole time, and the race will be decided tomorrow. Any thing was possible, and we could well have won or have finished second. In the end, neither one thing nor the other."

Jordi Viladoms: "Everything has gone well, since little by little I am feeling better on the bike, I am regaining confidence, and my pace too. I am pleased because at the moment I am not having problems and the objectives are being fufilled. The only thing that happened today was the problem in the soft sand-dunes, I went into a hole and that trapped me for about two minutes, then I was able to get the bike out. There is one day left and we will try to carry on with the same philosophy, being constant and trying to make sure that nothing strange happens. We will see what happens, to see whether we finish well and be happy with what we did in the race.”

2008/10/31 | 08:41 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Repsol

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