March 12, 2014
Motor rally — DakarSaturday, January 18, 2014
Despres wins stage, Coma still in charge
Peterhansel takes narrow lead in cars
Cyril Despres claimed his second triumph in 2014 yesterday when he won the penultimate stage, while Marc Coma continued in full control of the general standings. In cars, Stéphane Peterhansel took the stage and the lead over fellow Mini driver Nani Roma.
LA SERENA, Chile — On the last major sandy special on the Rally Dakar 2014, Cyril Despres once again dominated and picked up his second special stage victory of the year, ahead of Marc Coma.
Coma, the leader of the general standings, is still in full control and all the more comfortable since his closest pursuer Joan Barreda experienced serious mechanical problems.
Second to start this morning behind Coma, Despres quickly caught up with the Spaniard and overtook him to open the way, followed by the current general standings leader, riding to protect his advantage at the end of the rally. Behind them, the day’s big loser was Barreda, second in the general standings on departure from El Salvador this morning. Following electrical problems on his Honda, Barreda had to stop several times from the 265-km point onwards and crossed the finishing line on foot, 2 hours 29 minutes 35 seconds after Despres.
His misfortunes smiled on Olivier Pain, the third quickest yesterday, 5 minutes 57 seconds behind the stage winner.
In cars, eleven-time champion Stéphane Peterhansel won yesterday’s 12th and penultimate stage of the Dakar Rally to take the overall lead by only 26 seconds ahead of fellow Mini driver Nani Roma.
Before Thursday’s stage, Mini gave team orders for their four drivers to hold their positions, with Roma in the lead followed by Peterhansel, Nasser Al-Attiyah and No. 4 Orlando Terranova.
Instead, yesterday was an open race with Peterhansel winning, 3:38 ahead of Al-Attiyah and 5:58 clear of Roma.
It’s a two-car race between Peterhansel and Roma going into today’s last stage to Valaparíso. Al-Attiyah is 54:07 behind.
AP, Dakar website