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Coma to the Power of 4!

Dakar 2014

maddix park mx

www.dakar.com

Marc Coma, the author of a flawless performance from the beginning of the 2014 Dakar, took his fourth overall victory at the end of a final stage that went to Cyril Despres. Teammate Jordi Viladoms achieved his best result ever with second place overall, 1 h 52′27″ back, while Despres finished his first Dakar on a Yamaha just outside the podium, behind teammate Olivier Pain, who also got his best result at the Dakar. 

Last year, leader Cyril Despres and his lieutenant Ruben Faria signed an amazing one-two for the KTM squad. It was with the same team spirit that Marc Coma grabbed his fourth overall win, escorted on the podium by his faithful lieutenant Jordi Viladoms, who had already stood at his side when he won in 2006 in 2009. Coma's strategy, based on building an insurmountable lead over his rivals in one single special, has changed little since his last victory in 2011. This time round, it was during the fourth day of racing, the second part of the marathon stage to Chilecito, that the comeback kid dealt a devastating blow by toppling Joan Barreda from the lead, while electronic problems scuttled Cyril Despres' chances of victory. From then on, Coma focused on avoiding mistakes, while his rivals suffered more and more mishaps, mechanicals and errors… costing them hours in the overall.

The first two riders to drop out were those who stood next to Despres on last year's podium, Ruben Faria and "Chaleco" López, who were knocked out by falls. Later on, during stage 5, world champion Paolo Gonçalves saw both his Honda and his hopes go up in flames. At the time, a breath of fresh air from the Sherco camp compensated for all these disappointments. After alternating with teammate Juan Pedrero in the top places of the stages, Alain Duclos looked more and more like a serious podium contender, at least until the rest day. However, his Sherco's engine gave in during stage 9 after a first scare two days earlier. Marc Coma was able to spend the last few days riding at his own pace and keeping an eye on distant pursuer Joan Barreda. However, after climbing back to within half an hour of Coma due to the leader being handed down a penalty for an engine change, Barreda blew it exactly when it looked like he had finally learned to be consistent. The animator of this year's edition and winner of four stages crumbled on the dunes of Copiapó the day before the finish, conceding over two hours and slipping to seventh overall.

Meanwhile, Cyril Despres continued Operation Comeback, gaining a few places in the classification for his troubles. The five-time winner, 12th at the end of stage 5 and 11th on the rest day, inched closer and closer to the top until he finished at the gates of the podium, just behind teammate Olivier Pain. Yamaha's one-two in the third and fourth places is followed by an honourable Honda contingent, with Hélder Rodrigues in fifth, Joan Barreda in seventh and Daniel Gouet in eighth. Laia Sanz put the cherry on the Catalan take with a decent sixteenth place, one of the best results achieved by a female rider at the Dakar, after Christine Martin's tenth place in 1981, Nicole Maitrot's fourteenth in 1982 and Véronique Anquetil's fifteenth in 1984.


Ignacio Casale takes the quad race! The evening after stage 2, the defending champion summed up the ferocious battle raging in the quad race. "The Dakar's just begun", said Marcos Patronelli after winning the stage and moving into the overall lead. Ignacio Casale had seized the lead in both classifications at the end of the preceding stage, from Rosario to San Luis. The Argentinean star dropped out the next day during the hottest stage in Dakar history, probably as a result of his high-intensity clash with the Chilean. The quad race is getting more and more competitive, as proven by the fact that Casale still had to see off the repeated onslaught of Rafa? Sonik and Sergio Lafuente. The Pole slowly run out of steam when faced with the leader's robust defence, while the Uruguayan had to go home after his engine broke down during stage 11. Casale only wrapped up his Chilean-style win towards the end of a rally that revealed Sebastian Husseini's fighting spirit. The Dutchman was rewarded with the bottom step of the podium. Qatari Mohammed Abu-Issa took fourth place, with promising rookie Víctor Gallegos rounding off the top 5. Franco-Italian Camelia Liparoti played her hand well again, finishing 13th out of 15 finishers and 40 starters.

Rider Quotes:

Marc Coma: I'm going to savour this victory!

"These are really strong, personal feelings. It represents a shedload of sacrifices and hard work. It's an extreme race with ups and downs. Looking back, I remember being unable to start last year's race. And yet I'm here now, I've won. I'd like to thank those around me who made this comeback possible. Every time I win this rally, I say I'm going to savour it. I'll do it with my loved ones, my family. I don't know if I'll ever win it again. I'll try, I'll work hard for it, but it's a very complicated rally."

Jordi Viladoms: I'm overwhelmed

"I'm overwhelmed. It's a big thing for me, especially after the year I went through. I'm over the moon with this result."

Olivier Pain: I spent all week long thinking of this

"This edition was filled with emotions and had a difficult first week. I gave it my all throughout the second week... and I achieved my objective, a podium place. I'd prepared for it, but the field was strong. I was 40 minutes behind the podium on the rest day, and I spent all week long thinking of this. I inched closer to Jordi bit by bit, and then I benefitted from Joan's bad luck yesterday. Then I had to see off Cyril... It was never easy. I wasn't nervous this morning, just looking forward to the finish."

Ignacio Casale: I won!

"I won! I'm over the moon, I'm lost for words. It's a flood of emotions. The last 20 to 30 kilometres were amazing: the crowds, people cheering me on, banners... It hasn't sunk in yet. I didn't even think of all this a few years ago. It's a huge effort that has borne fruit. I'd like to thank the Chilean government for the wildcards they helped me get, as well as my family, my friends and all my sponsors. Now it's time to rest and go on holiday. I hope all of Chile will revel in this victory. It's a triumph of hard work and passion, which proves you can go a long way if you do your best." 

www.motorcycle-usa.com  Report from Byron Wilson

Red Bull Factory KTM’s Marc Coma is the 2014 Dakar Rally champion. Coma now has four career Dakar wins, and this year he took the honor nearly two hours ahead of his closest competition, teammate Jordi Viladoms. Factory Yamaha’s Oliver Pain rounds out the 2014 podium.



Stage 13 featured a relatively short 97-mile timed section and early on Pain’s teammate, Michal Metge, set the pace. Team HRC’s Joan Barreda and Samsung Sherco Rally Factory’s Juan Pedrero Garcia trailed close behind on the timesheet during the initial miles, but defending Dakar champion Cyril Despres moved past them all at around the 25-mile mark. The Yamaha ace maintained his strong pace all the way to the finish, crossing the line in first followed by Barreda and Pain. Despres was hit with a five minute penalty after the stage however and was dropped to fifth, giving Barreda the Stage 13 win.

Coma was in no hurry, mitigating risk by moving through the stage at a slower pace to ensure his overall win. The Spaniard finished Stage 13 in 18th.

“Without the right people behind me it would have been impossible to win,” Coma said. “We have worked very well throughout the race and also before. Last year I went through a very difficult situation not being able to compete because of injury and I came back to win the race. I think this says a lot about the people I have around me. I am very proud of this victory. What was key to winning the Dakar was not to make any mistakes.”

Despres missed out on the overall podium and finishes this year’s Dakar in fourth. Barreda’s teammate, Helder Rodrigues sits fifth followed by KTM’s Jakub Przygonski in sixth. Barreda earns seventh followed by Honda rider Daniel Gouet in eighth. 

Honda pilot Laia Sanz is the only female rider in the motorcycle class this year to make it to the finish. She scored a 16th place result in Stage 13 and finishes 16th overall. Only 78 motorcycles made it to the finish out of 196 starters in the 2014 Dakar.

Dakar Rally 2014 Stage 13: La Serena – Valparaiso Results 
1. Joan Barreda, ESP (Honda) 1:59:44 
2. Oliver Pain, FRA (Yamaha) 2:00:24 
3. Helder Rodrigues, PRT (Honda) 2:01:07 
4. Juan Pedrero Garcia, ESP (Sherco) 2:01:19 
5. Cyril Despres, FRA (Yamaha) 2:02:14 
6. Jordi Viladoms, ESP (KTM) 2:03:15 
7. Michael Metge, FRA (Yamaha) 2:03:52 
8. Daniel Gouet, CHL (Honda) 2:04:01 
9. Jakub Przygonski, POL (KTM) 2:05:00 
10. David Casteu, FRA (KTM) 2:07:04

2014 Dakar Rally Final Overall Results: 
1. Marc Coma, ESP (KTM) 54:50:53 
2. Jordi Viladoms, ESP (KTM) 56:43:20 
3. Oliver Pain, FRA (Yamaha) 56:50:56 
4. Cyril Despres, FRA (Yamaha) 56:56:31 
5. Helder Rodrigues, PRT (Honda) 57:02:02 
6. Jakub Przygonski, POL (KTM) 57:22:39 
7. Joan Barreda, ESP (Honda) 57:44:54 
8. Daniel Gouet, CHL (Honda) 58:01:27 
9. Stefan Svitko, SVK (KTM) 58:41:03 
10. David Casteu, FRA (KTM) 58:49:09

 
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