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Dakar 2007: KTM Press Release 14Jan

  Posted at 08:52:33 PM
  File under  Dakar Race KTM
  Author: KTM Press Release
  Location: Normandy, France

The gaps are getting bigger

When there is somebody smiling in the Dakar because he had a good day, there is always somebody crying because he screwed up.

Dakar KTM Marc Coma
Currently in leading position, Marc Coma in the dunes       (c) van Oers J.

Today Marc Coma (KTM Respol) is the smiling one. Isidre Esteve (KTM Gauloises) is the unhappy part of the story.

The eight stage, from Atar to Tichit in Mauritania, was one of those stages that makes the difference in the Dakar. And the gaps got bigger and bigger today. Dunes of extreme soft sand and stretches of camelgrass made that possible.

More photos after the jump

Dakar KTM Despres
Despres in the dunes of today's marathon stage       (c) van Oers J.

Coma had a perfect day at the office. In 7 hours and 46 minutes he covered the 589 km of the special stage: a genuine working day for normal people. ‘The weather was bad,’ Coma commented. ‘In the middle of the stage a sandstorm made it difficult to find the right tracks. But that’s typical Mauritanian. I know I gained a lot of time today, but it is still too earley to think about winning the Dakar. Tomorrow is another day and will not be easy for sure.’

Dakar KTM Freinademetz
Privateer Freinademetz on KTM just before km 34       (c) van Oers J.

The other KTM Gauloises riders saw Esteve and stopped to see if they could help him. ‘But I could do nothing in the middle of the desert in a sandstorm,’ David Casteu said. ‘It’s a pity for Isidre. He did not came here to just finish in Dakar, he came here to win. It has been in the back of my mind all day: Cyril had the same problem twice already. I decided to take it easy, because it is a marathon stage: no assistance tonight, we will have to do it ourselves. That’s why I treated my bike as if it was a woman: gentle and sweet.’ Casteu finished fourth today, behind Coma, Despres and Norwegian Pal Anders Ullevalseter. He is now third in the standings.

Dakar KTM Casteu
Casteu in the sand between Atar and Tichit       (c) van Oers J.

Result today (Atar-Tichit):

Rank Rider Nation Bike Time
1 Marc Coma SPA KTM 7.46.13
2 Cyril Despres FRA KTM 7.56.15
4 David Casteu FRA KTM 8.12.35
5 Frans Verhoeven NED KTM 8.15.29
6 Chris Blais USA KTM 8.24.46
8 Giovanni Sala ITA KTM 8.30.36
38 Esteve Pujol SPA KTM 9.56.23

Overall results:

Rank Rider Nation Bike Time
1 Marc Coma SPA KTM 30.24.47
2 Cyril Despres FRA KTM 31.19.45
3 David Casteu FRA KTM 31.28.02
4 Chris Blais USA KTM 31.56.13
6 Frans Verhoeven NED KTM 32.33.44
7 Giovanni Sala ITA KTM 32.38.38
8 Esteve Pujol SPA KTM 32.45.44

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