Day Three Dakar: Despres second overall; penalty for Coma in Stage Two
KTM factory-supported rider Cyril Despres held on to second overall in day three of the 2010 Dakar as riders negotiated their way from Cordoba to La Rioja in Argentina for the second timed stage of this year's rally. KTM's Marc Coma, third in today's stage, incurred a disappointing penalty.
"Coma was penalized 22 minutes for exceeding the speed limit going though a town in the first stage after a control of the riders' GPS systems last night," said KTM's Stefan Huber who is traveling with the KTM supported riders. The penalty knocked Coma - winner of the first Dakar in South America last year - down to fourteenth place in the overall standings. Although a setback and a disappointment for the professional Spanish rider there is still a long way to go in the 9000 km journey through Argentina and Chile.
Jordi Viladoms © van Oers J.
In the second stage, riders faced fast to very fast track alternating with winding, narrow sections but it was the heavy rain both at the start and during the race that made going heavy and very dangerous. As well as the rain, riders also faced a considerable range in temperatures from 18 degrees C when they set out from Cordoba to 35 degrees C in La Roija.
"It was just a matter of not taking risks today. We just had to get through it," Despres said. "It was a mud race that was more suited to Enduro. The conditions made it very difficult to hold the bikes on the track and of course it was much easier for the riders on the lighter 450 cc bikes," he added. New regulations that limit the power of bikes to the equivalent of 450 cc means that Coma and Despres must both ride with air restrictors fitted to their KTM bikes.
Henk Knuiman © van Oers J.
The next stage takes riders up to 2000 meters with a mixture of hard pack and sandy surfaces before they prepare for the ascent into the Andes.
Stage Two Results
1. David Fretagne, France, Yamaha
2. David Casteu, France, Sherco
3. Marc Coma, Spain, KTM
4. Cyril Despres, Andorra, KTM,
5. Luca Manca, Italy, KTM
Overall after Stage Two
1. David Casteu, France, Sherco
2. Cyril Despres, Andorra, KTM (at 2'10)
3. David Fretagne, France, Yamaha
4. Luca Manca, Italy, KTM
5. Jordi Viladoms Spain, KTM
14. Marc Coma, Spain, KTM (22 minutes penalty)