Dakar Stage 3 – Coma takes stage victory – Despres leads overall

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Marc Coma secured his first stage victory of the 2011 Dakar to close within 14 seconds of overall leader Cyril Despres. Coma rode faultlessly throughout the monster 521KM timed special stage and capitalised on a small navigational error by Despres, which cost the Frenchman in the region of two minutes.

Coma said: “Well that was a real Dakar day. I’m happy with where I am, I took advantage of a little navigation mistake by Cyril Despres. Of course it’s important to win a special, but my aim is to win the rally”.

Despres who put his costly navigational mistake down to spectators on the course said: “Marc Coma caught up with me very quickly. I was very careful during the first 10 km and then after 11 km I got it completely wrong. I didn’t lose two hours, but several precious minutes. In the end, I limited the damage, because I finished 20 seconds behind Marc. He must have gained 2 minutes 20 seconds on me. It’s not huge amount of time, but I would’ve liked to have kept it for myself”.

Craig Bounds continued his solid performance in this years Dakar and now holds 42nd overall onboard his Delta Kunststoffe Yamaha WR450F.

Fellow Brit Jenifer Morgan had an equally impressive day finishing stage three in 115th place leaving her 129th overall out of 170 starters.

Michael Guy

By Michael Guy

Sports Editor, former 250-racer and adventure rider