Dakar stage 11 - Verhoeven victorious for BMW

By James Keen -

Off road

 13 January 2010 16:00

Dutchman Frans Verhoeven took an unexpected victory for BMW in the 11th Dakar stage.

It looked like we were set to witness another victory for Catalan rider Marc Coma and KTM, but a navigation error ended his winning streak.

After 13km Coma took a wrong turn and rode 3km in the wrong direction. After riding back 3km to join the correct route, he had wasted close to 12 minutes in all.

Frenchman Cyril Despres maintained his lead in the overall standings. He had this to say on Coma's error: "After 13 km, there was a banner stopping us following a track. I went straight ahead for about 80 metres before turning round after I saw Marc Coma coming back in the other direction followed by other riders. After that, we carried on as a group. It happens sometimes, I suppose".

American Jonas Street didn't make the same mistake. The KTM rider was quickest at CP1, but he couldn't hold off Verhoeven, who went on to finish 3 seconds ahead of Street in a thrilling head-to-head for the finish line.