Cyril Despres’s 28th stage victory on the Dakar has allowed him to increase his lead over Marc Coma in the general standings. The competition is struggling to keep up with the two champions.
As the saying goes, two’s a company, three’s a crowd, and the Dakar seems to prefer duos. Between Cyril Despres and Marc Coma, the battles are always intense. Their virtuosity behind the handlebars is starting to significantly distance them from their challengers. The bad weather conditions that forced the organisers to shorten the day’s special also prevented Despres from making a genuine breakaway in the dunes near Fiambala. However, he was able to add 1’41” to his lead over Coma, by triumphing after 185 kilometres of tracks and river beds which he mostly tackled just behind his rival and, nonetheless, team-mate. In the general standings, the distance of 9’50” at which the title holder finds himself is not an insurmountable obstacle, bearing in mind that Coma is capable of resounding feats. Behind the duo, the gap is imposing, however, and is growing every day by approximately ten minutes.
Overall Results after Stage Five (Stage Six canceled because of bad weather)
1, Cyril Despres, France, KTM 14 hours 19 minutes
2, Marc Coma, Spain, KTM at 9 minutes 51 seconds
3, Helder Rodrigues, Portugal, Yamaha at 247:56
Photos by M.Maragni