Marc Coma Extends Lead In Sardinia Rally

Cycle News Staff | June 4, 2013
  Marc Coma topped stage four of the Sardinia Rally. Photography by RallyZone KTM Images

Marc Coma heads into the final day of the Sardinia Rally with a comfortable lead. Photography by RallyZone/KTM Images.

Even though he enjoys a nine-plus minutes in the Sardinia Rally, KTM’s Marc Coma still says it’s not over after gaining another four minutes over the rest of the field today. But he does head into tomorrow’s final stage with breathing room over second-placed Paolo Goncalves.

Having already won the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge and the Sealine Rally in Qatar, a third win will lay the groundwork for him to retain the FIM World Cross Country Rally Championship.

On Tuesday, Coma was fastest over the longer of the two timed specials on the Italian island and placed seventh in the second. While he has a small cushion of time going into the 202-mile ride on Wednesday, of which there is a make-or-break 131 miles of timed special, there will be a hard fight behind him with no less than six riders within three minutes of each other.

“It is never easy when you have to open the stage and the first timed special was long and very difficult especially with the navigation,” Coma said. “It was a long way to ride and, of course, you get tired mentally and it is hard to maintain your rhythm and keep pushing.”

Coma’s former teammate Cyril Despres, of France, is currently third overall on his new Yamaha ride, just 22 seconds behind Goncalves.

Beta’s Joan Pedrero of Spain is fourth and Yamaha rider Paolo Ceci of Italy is currently fifth overall.

The final stage takes riders from San Itrea to San Teodoro.