Marc Coma can call himself a Dakar Rally winner once again after sweeping to a dominant victory on this year's event, almost an hour and a half ahead of the competition.
Coma enjoyed an almost faultless run through the event, this year held for the first time in Argentina and Chile after last year's race was cancelled, to win by 1hr 25mins over Cyril Despres.
Indeed, Despres was expected to be Coma's closest rival over the course of the two weeks, but while the Frenchman struggled with a variety of problems in the opening few days, Coma suffered relitively minor issues to win his second Dakar.
Delighted that the Dakar is finally over, Coma was thrilled to be classified as the winner after just missing out in 2007 and being unable to make amends in 2008.
“I am just so happy! The truth is that it was a very long race and really complicated. I want to thank the whole team for their great work, something that is very important. Without them this would not have been possible and now we can start to enjoy ourselves. The liaison seemed very long; at the beginning I was excited and I could not wait to finish.
“I think we have had a great race. We planned it very well and that meant that we moved into a very early lead. It meant carrying extra pressure, but we knew how to cope with it all. I am very pleased with this and the team's work, really magnificent.
“In such a long race you always have some good moments but you have bad ones too. We had some setbacks, like the day with the oil radiator, and with the puncture which made the race very complicated tactically. We have just had two bad years, back in 2007 I lost the rally just two days before it finished and last year's was cancelled. I finally have a taste of joy again.”