Dakar : Leg 4 - 639 km
Areal classic on the Dakar today for all the competitors with a stage including a 386km special full of navigation, sand stretches and rocky tracks. In the bike race, Isidre Esteve made the best of his late starting position to capture the day's victory
while his Spanish compatriot Marc Coma is the new overall leader. In the car special, Carlos Sainz proved that yesterday's nightmare was forgotten by clinching his third victory in four stages. The Spaniard is back in the overall lead.
Fourth day of competing in the Dakar and still beautiful conditions. Not a cloud in the Moroccan sky this morning when he first bikers took off for their 639km stage. After a 56km liaison the main favourites were eager to warm up after a very cold night for their timed effort.
Taking off in 19th position after his poor special yesterday when he struggled with navigation, Isidre Esteve stormed to stage success following the tracks of his main rivals and gaining precious time. The Spaniard KTM rider clocked the fastest times at both CPs (kms 122 and 221). Despite spending most of his day riding alone, Esteve crossed the finish line in a final time of 4h13'01” clinching the 6th special success of his Dakar career.
Meanwhile overall leader before the day's race, Cyril Despres, third yesterday, was rapidly caught by his followers and rode alongside De Gavardo and Coma just after CP1 (km 122). All three riders made it bunched to the finish line, Coma clocking the second fastest time. The KTM-Repsol leader finished only 28” off the pace of his winning compatriot, while De Gavardo took third spot, 5'15”. Fourth was Despres at 6'50”. And that of course means that the French title-holder loses his leadership to one of his main rivals Marc Coma who can now enjoy a 4'51” advantage on Esteve and 5'06” on Despres.
Press Release Amaury Sport Organisation