Coma Again In Dakar

Paul Carruthers | January 12, 2010

Red Bull KTM’s Marc Coma continues to show that although he has basically been eliminated from the overall battle in the Dakar Rally, he refuses to give up the fight. Today Coma continued to work hard and it resulted in another stage win for the Spaniard.

Today’s 10th stage of the 32nd edition of the Dakar Rally featured 363 miles, including a 148-mile timed section, that took riders on a technical and undulating route from Atacama to Santiago. And no one covered the distance quicker than Coma as he topped Yamaha’s David Fretigne by two minutes and six seconds to earn his third stage victory of this year’s Dakar.

“That was like a day of Endurance riding,” Coma said ina  team release. “There was a lot of skidding, but it was technical and interesting.”

The Spaniard said he had gone out looking for the victory and tried to show he was quick and comfortable on the tracks.

“I started first and opened the road for the whole stage. It’s hard. In fact it’s the hardest thing to do. And trying to claw back some time is difficult too. But we did it, so I’m happy, even proud – all thanks to the team”.

Fretigne ended up 30 seconds ahead of fellow Yamaha man Helder Rodrigues with KTM-mounted Ruben Faria finishing fourth. Aprilia’s Francisco Lopez Contardo was fifth.

Overall leader Cyril Despres ended the day in sixth place, some six minutes and 25 seconds behind Coma. But even though he was sixth today, Despres still built on his overall lead over Pal Anders Ullevalseter, the Norwegian riding his KTM to eighth today.

So after 10 stages, Despres now leads Ullevalseter by an hour and 22 minutes. The battle for second, meanwhile, is heating up with just two minutes and 10 seconds covering Ullevalseter in second from Rodrigues in fourth.

American Jonah Street is seventh overall after ending today’s stage in ninth.

Coma is now 17th overall despite being slapped with six hours and 22 minutes worth of penalities in this years’ race.

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.