DAKAR: Coma eases to second Dakar victory.

Marc Coma quietly offered a third title to Spain by winning his second Dakar Rally on the last day today, but victory on the final special stage of the event went the way of Portuguese rider Helder Rodrigues.

227 km of special stage was the distance separating Coma from his second triumph on the gruelling event after that of 2006, and the Spaniard did not flinch on the fast and technical trails between Cordoba and Buenos Aires. Three years after his first triumph in Senegal, on the other side of the ocean, the Catalan became the first Dakar winner in Latin America.

Starting right after his main contender Cyril Despres, just like two days ago, the KTM Repsol rider took it easy on his bike and mainly on his tyres before crossing the finish line with a discrete smile on his face.

His contender in the general standings, the defending title-holder took almost two-and-a-half minutes out of his quarry over the course of the day, but that ultimately made little dent into Coma's lead, as the 32-year-old reached the finishing post one hour and 25 minutes to the good, with David Frétigné, on his small 450cc Yamaha, winding up third in the final reckoning just 13 minutes further in arrears.

Despite the overall action, the stage victory was actually fought between two riders on the hunt for fifth place in the general standings – Helder Rodrigues and Pal Anders Ullevalseter, who were a scant 44 seconds apart in the standings before the start of the stage.

The first one reached CP1 with a tiny but precious three-second lead, and the advantage of the Portuguese rider kept on increasing as his Norwegian challenger's rear tyre became increasingly damaged. Two years after his victory in Nema in Mauritania, Rodrigues went on to claim his third special stage success on the Dakar and finished two minutes and seven seconds ahead of Ullevalseter, with Despres just over half a minute behind again.

Argentina-Chile Dakar 2009 - Positions on SS14:

1. Helder Rodriges KTM 1hr 42m 37s
2. Pal Anders Ullevalseter KTM +0hrs 02m 07s
3. Cyril Despres KTM +0hrs 02m 41s
4. Jordi Viladoms KTM +0hrs 03m 31s
5. David Casteu KTM +0hrs 04m 37s

Argentina-Chile Dakar 2009 – Final Positions:

1. Marc Coma KTM 52hrs 14m 33s
2. Cyril Despres KTM +1hrs 25m 38s
3. Davide Fretigne Yamaha +1hrs 38m 56s
4. David Casteu KTM +2hrs 17m 54s
5. Helder Rodriges KTM +2hrs 22m 11s

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Marc Coma during 2009 Dakar rally (pic: Chaco A.)
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Jordi Viladoms - KTM (Pic: van Oers J.)
Cyril Despres - KTM (Pic: van Oers J.)
Cyril Despres - KTM (Pic: van Oers J.)

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haniffJ - Unregistered

January 18, 2009 5:16 AM

Congratulation on Coma for winning this year Dakar and Despres for not giving up from first day and fight back to second. Fretigne for take Yamaha 450 to third proving size does not matter. I hope Street will return and fight back next year.

Largelyestate - Unregistered

December 25, 2009 2:11 PM

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