Unless something changes, it seems the final stages of Dakar are likely to be dominated by three names: Marc Coma, Joan Barreda Bort, and Cyril Despres.
Those three racers finished first, second and third respectively yesterday, and they seem to be setting a pattern of consistent racing. Jordi Viladoms is still in third overall, behind Coma and Bort, but Despres has moved up to eighth overall and seems to have an outside shot of making it all the way to the low spot on the podium at this rate, with a little luck. He’s still quite far back, but there’s plenty of miles left, and lots can go wrong for his competition.
At this point, dozens of racers have been eliminated or dropped out; the grid is down to 81 riders. Alain Duclos, who impressed on his Sherco in the first few days, is gone, meaning there’s one less consistent podium threat for the frontrunners to worry about.