Monday 17th December: Tracks Closed.

Stage 8: Despres Victorious

Dakar 2014

maddix park mx

www.dakar.com

On an 8th stage with a slightly modified route, Cyril Despres picked up his first special stage victory of 2014, ahead of Joan Barreda and Marc Coma, the leader of the general standings who is now closely marking his main rival. 

Even though the weather conditions prevented the bikes from crossing the salt pans of Uyuni as initially planned, there was no shortage of pizazz during the 499-km long eighth stage, firstly, with the return to the headlines of Cyril Despres. Third to start this morning, the title holder soon caught up with Marc Coma to ride together and gradually rein in Joan Barreda. Despite the Honda rider stepping on the gas at the end of the stage, at the finishing line it was the Frenchman who tasted triumph, 2'10 ahead of Barreda and 2'16 in front of Marc Coma. Behind them, whilst Portugal's Helder Rodrigues and Frenchman Olivier Pain confirmed the good form of the Hondas and Yamahas with the day's 4th and 5th places, the day was marked by the difficulties encountered by Sherco! 14'25 were lost by Juan Pedrero, but Alain Duclos again suffered misfortunes, this time a mechanical problem at the start of the stage, leading to a loss of almost 35 minutes.

As a result, in the general standings, although the Franco-Malian is still fourth, he now trails Jordi Viladoms by 21'47 and is under serious threat from Jeremias Israel Esquerre in fifth place 2'56 behind the Sherco rider. In the lead positions, however, no change occurred. Marc Coma, well assisted today by Cyril Despres as an ideal pace-setter, continued to perfectly control his lead over Joan Barreda, which now stands at 38'08. The day's winner, Cyril Despres moves up a place and is now ninth in the general standings, but trails the leader Coma by 2:23'58.

Rider Quotes:

Jordi ViladomsFor the moment, it's all going well

The stage was easy since there was no navigation and a lot of fast tracks. The real difficulty was the altitude. We all had a bad night's sleep. And it was long: 500 km which took an age to go by. We've just completed the Bolivian part of the rally and it was a section that worried me. I was worried about finding myself in a bad situation. I had a few problems, but nothing bad. For me, up to now it's all gone ok. Without taking risks and playing the waiting game I'm now third in the general standings as we arrive at the desert stages. So, for the moment, it's all going well.

 
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