The ongoing desert duel between KTM teammates Marc Coma and Cyril Despres continued during Day Seven of the Dakar rally last week, with Coma again winning the stage.
Coma took Saturday’s stage a good two minutes ahead of Despres, who in turn was almost three minutes ahead of third-place finisher Paulo Gonclaves .That was good enough to move him up to fourth place – good news for Team Husqvarna, bad news for Francisco Lopez, who’s now dropped from the top five after a crash, as David Casteau is holding down that fifth position slot again.
Despres still has a 7:48 lead on Coma, but anything can go wrong (and often does) at Dakar, and losing any of your lead at all is a bad thing. Both riders have three stage wins apiece so far through this race, so they’re pretty evenly matched.
With a rest day on Sunday, the riders should have patched themselves and their bikes up enough to put up another good showing for today’s 722-kilometre day in Chile, between Copiapó and Antofagasta.
Here are the top five riders; you can see the video of Day Seven’s highlights below.
1. Cyril Despres (KTM)
2. Marc Coma (KTM)
3. Hélder Rodrigues (Yamaha)
4. Paulo Gonclaves (Husqvarna)
5. David Casteau (Yamaha)