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DAKAR: Day 1 - Coma dominates.

Marc Coma has carved out a huge lead following the first day of competition for the 2009 Dakar Rally, the Spaniard taking advantage of problems for rivals to go 22mins ahead.

Coma, looking for a repeat of his win in 2006, quickly made his intentions felt when he caught KTM counterpart Cyril Depres on the road and simply drove away.

Making an inspired tyre choice on the unchartered Argentine territory, Coma wound up well over 20mins quicker than his closest rival, that coming in the shape of Pole Jacek Czachor.

Slovak Miran Stanovnik, Frans Verhoeven and Jonah Street rounded out the top five, although the stage was probably most notable in the absence of Despres, who suffered tyre woes that would see him cross the line with the rubber off the rims.

He lost more than 40mins as a result, leaving him playing considerable catch-up for the remainder of the event. David Casteu and Emanuel Gyenes were others to suffer similar problems.

Argentina-Chile Dakar 2009 - Positions on SS1:

1. Marc Coma KTM 02hrs 46m 17s
2. Jacek Czachor KTM +0hrs 22m 05s
3. Miran Stanovnik KTM +0hrs 24m 42s
4. Frans Verhoeven KTM 02hrs 26m 14s
5. Jonah Street KTM +0hrs 26m 22s
6. Davide Fretigne Yamaha +0hrs 28m 14s

Argentina-Chile Dakar 2009 - Positions after SS1:

1. Marc Coma KTM 02hrs 46m 17s
2. Jacek Czachor KTM +0hrs 22m 05s
3. Miran Stanovnik KTM +0hrs 24m 42s
4. Frans Verhoeven KTM 02hrs 26m 14s
5. Jonah Street KTM +0hrs 26m 22s
6. Davide Fretigne Yamaha +0hrs 28m 14s


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Cyril Despres - KTM (Pic: van Oers J.)

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