Team Double Diamond Rally PanAM KTM’s Jonah Street won the first-ever Dakar Rally stage of his career today, the American taking advantage of the tire problems by the sport’s top two riders - Marc Coma and Cyril Despres - on the fifth stage between Neuquen and San Rafael.
While both Coma and Despres had to stop to change flats, Street didn’t and that gave him his first stage victory. Coma lost some 20 minutes fixing his flat with Despres losing an additional seven minutes when he later encountered his tire woes.
After starting third early this morning, Street was flawless in preserving his tires while also keeping a fast pace. When it was all said and done, the American had beaten Frans Verhoeven by 5:52.
In the overall standings, Coma (who was seventh in today’s fifth stage) leads Street by 27 minutes. Yamaha’s David Fretigne, third today, is now just over 39 minutes behind Coma