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A three man battle
Dakar : Motos - Leg 5
Stage 5 of the Euromilhoes Lisboa Dakar 2006 promised to be fast and furious. In the bike race confirmation was given that three men seemed to have that little extra something compared to the others: Despres, Coma and Esteve. Taking off behind his
two main rivals Despres captured the day's win and moved closer to Coma in the overall.
The third and final Moroccan stage saw the competitors of the 28th Dakar complete a third of the total race course. Fast stony tracks and not too much navigation on the menu for the bikers who took off early this morning from Ouarzazate.

Heading south-west towards the Atlantic Ocean, Cyril Despres took off in fourth spot. After slightly losing himself after km 25, the Frenchman rapidly caught up with Chilean Carlo De Gavardo before storming alone to the first CP (km 100) and enjoying the fastest time at that stage of the race.

Slowly but surely the title holder moved closer to his main rivals Marc Coma and Isidre Esteve… All three were eventually bunched at CP2 for refuelling. They carried on together all the way to the finish with Despres obviously setting the fastest time in 3h47'40”. Second was Spaniard Coma, 3'41” adrift while Gauloises-KTM co-leader (with Despres) Esteve had to settle with third spot losing over 5'. The Spaniard suffered rear brake problems from km 50 to CP2 where he was eventually able to stop and repair.

A newcomer on the Dakar, Ruben Faria proved that he wasn't only a European stage specialist (2nd and 1st of the first two stages), the Portuguese captured an excellent fourth position on the day, (8'14” behind) ahead of De Gavardo, Caldecott, Casteu and Ullevalseter. The first non-KTM rider was David Frétigné on his smaller Yamaha. The Frenchman, winner of three specials last year rode the whole stage with an injured knee.

In the overall standing, Marc Coma keeps top spot but loses time on Cyril Despres, now second 1'25 adrift. Isidre Esteve moves down to third spot at over 6'.
Press Release Amaury Sport Organisation

     Three questions to Donatus Wichelhaus
     Marc Coma is Still the Leader. Cyril Despres is Approaching
     Fog in Tan Tan
     Raphael Sperrer fighting up the order
     A splendid Dakar day for Ellen Lohr in her M-Class prototype
     Christian Lavieille, still leading the Nismo Challenge
     Benoit Rousselot takes the lead of the T2 category
     Difficult leg for Carlos Sousa
     Robby Gordon Hummer team down but not out
     Victory today went to Isidre Esteve

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