Dakar Stage 9 – American Street wins stage as leaders suffer navigational nightmare

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Yamaha rider Jonah Street secured his first ever Dakar stage win after a day marred by confusion with the front runners caught out by a navigational error. The American rider won the stage by a convincing 3m 38s ahead of BMW rider Frans Verhoeven with Sherco mounted David Casteau in third.

Overall leaders Marc Coma and Cyril Despres finished the day 9th and 7th respectively. Their problems begun at the start of the stage when the top ten riders left on mass, but made a catastrophic navigational error.

Despres said: “We didn’t stay grouped for a long time after the start because at the 17 km point Helder Rodrigues took a wrong direction and we all followed him. So, we turned round and ran straight into the second wave of starters. We were all riding in each other’s dust. It was a bit of a strange stage really.”
In the confusion Coma lost one minute to Despres in the overall standings, but still leads the race by 8m 14s. He said: “The first group got lost. We turned right, when we shouldn’t have. When we got back on track the second wave caught up with us. It was a bit of a mess. After that, a group of around twenty quick riders formed and we managed to ride the rest of the stage normally. But in the end, it was a difficult day.”

Stage Nine Results
1, Jonah Street, USA, Yamaha, 03:06.56
2, Frans Verhoeven, Belgium, BMW, at 3:38
3, David Casteu, France, Sherco, 3:40
4, Guell Farres, Spain, Aprilia, 4:30
5, Jordi Viladoms, Spain, Yamaha, 5:46 
Standings after Stage Nine
1, Marc Coma, Spain, KTM
2, Cyril Despres Andorra, KTM, at 8:14
3, Chaleco Lopez, Chile, Aprilia, 23:33
4, Helder Rodrigues, Portugal, Yamaha, 1:01.51
5, Rubin Faria, Portugal, KTM 1:21:20

Michael Guy

By Michael Guy

Sports Editor, former 250-racer and adventure rider