Dakar - Motorbikes - Leg 4
There were worries that Cyril Després wouldn't be able to overcome the tyre issues that have plagued him since the beginning of the 2009 Dakar Rally in Argentina, thereby preventing him from dueling with his rival, Marc Coma.
by taking a sought-after second place at the conclusion of today's 459-kilometre run, 1:17 behind stage winner and rally leader Coma.
The Spaniard holds an overall 43-minute advantage over American driver Jonah Street, who is now placed second in the general standings. At the controls of his KTM bike, Street took over David Frétigné's former position, who in turn was not overly disappointed as he admitted to his surprise at being so high in the standings in the first place!
"It was a nice stage with some good riding at the beginning then a bit more navigation," said Coma. "It was a bit like Morocco, where the tricks are nice and quick."
"The landscape changed, making it a bit more technical and more physical because you start to feel all the efforts put in so far. Today, it was shorter but harder than the other days," he added.
If Coma, Despres, Frétigné and others are feeling the first signs of fatigue, how must the newcomers feel... Some already admit feeling very tired, and that can potentially bring about a few falls on the trails.
Tomorrow, for Wednesday's run, Coma will be opening the roads ahead of Després; a promising duel is expected.