Coma Crashes Out!

Paul Carruthers | January 19, 2007

Repsol KTM’s Marc Coma is out of the Dakar Rally, the Spaniard suffering a crash at the 35-mile mark of today’s 13th stage that has left him with a severe concussion.

Coma started today’s stage with a 54 minute lead over Gauloises KTM’s Cyril Despres, but he lost time early in the stage and ended up on a different route on the way to the second checkpoint. That route turned out to be rockier than expected and Coma ended up hitting a rock and crashing into a tree. According to Dakar officials, he initially was able to stand, but then lost consciousness. He was then flown from the crash scene by helicopter and taken to the bivouac at Tambacounda in Mauritania.

Doctors at the medical tent reported that Coma was heavily dazed and could not even remember his name, but expect him to be fine to fly home in the morning.

The overall lead now goes to Despres, who ironically crashed out of last year’s race and handed the lead to Coma“ who went on to win the event.

Despres win today’s 284-mile stage by just over three minutes and now holds a 35-minute lead over his Gauloises KTM teammate David Casteu, the Frenchman not finishing in the top 10 in today’s stage.

Second today went to South African plumber Tom Glassen. The KTM rider was fourth in Stage 12 and he bettered that today, finishing 3:03 behind Despres.

Red Bull KTM’s Chris Blais finished third in the stage and with Coma’s demise now holds down third overall.

Yesterday’s winner Isidre Esteve also crashed today, losing hours while waiting for his crew to repair his bike.

Pal Andres Ullevalseter and Yamaha’s Helder Rodrigues now sit comfortable in fourth and fifth overall, respectively.

The rest of the Americans are all in the top 100 in the overall standings with Casey McCoy now 31st, Steve Laroza 95th and Chris Jones 98th.

Paul Carruthers | Editor

Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America's Daily Motorcycle News Source.