Marc Coma took Stage Eight and first place overall in the Dakar rally yesterday, with help from some bad luck for Cyril Despres.
Despres, in first place overall at the start of yesterday’s stage, lost valuable time pulling his motorcycle out of a mudhole that wasn’t on the map. The time lost allowed Coma to bounce back from navigational errors at the start of the day to win the stage, and take the overall lead.
Despres’ team protested to race officials, who ended up giving the French rider some credit for time lost, since the hazard wasn’t on the race map. Coma’s overall lead was cut to 1:26, but for now, he’s still in top spot.
Today’s stage should be a little easier – yesterday’s route included a 477-km timed special, the longest in the rally.
The top five riders remain the same after Stage Eight, with Casteau and Goncalves switching spots. See video highlights of Day Eight below.
1. Marc Coma (KTM)
2. Cyril Despres (KTM)
3. Hélder Rodrigues (Yamaha)
4. David Casteau (Yamaha)
5. Paulo Gonclaves (Husqvarna)