Bikes stage 13 news from Dakar day before finish

14.01.2012: Dakar 2012 - Argentina/ Chile / Peru Stage 13 January 14th, 2012 10:50 - bike 001 - Finish: Coma 13'25" behind Rodrigues!

Dakar 2012 - Argentina/ Chile / Peru  Stage 13  January 14th, 2012

10:50 - bike 001 - Finish: Coma 13'25" behind Rodrigues!

The Spaniard may have lost the 2012 Dakar on the dunes of today's special. He conceded 13'25" to stage winner Hélder Rodrigues, but most importantly 12'38" to Cyril Despres, who has taken a decisive advantage 24 hours before the end of the rally.

 Coma got lost near kilometre 207, which seems to be the main reason for his time loss. Cyril Despres will start tomorrow's very short (29 km) special with a 11'03" margin over his teammate.

Hélder Rodrigues is still sitting third ahead of Jordi Viladoms, with approximately 30 minutes between them.

10:35 - bike 001 - Rodrigues takes the scratch

With a time of 3 h 21'16", Portugal's Hélder Rodrigues was faster than Despres by 47" at the finish of the thirteenth special.

10:33 - bike  002 - Finish: Despres posts the best provisional time

With a total time of 3 h 22'03", Cyril Despres has just signed the best time for today's 275-kilometre special, 2'13" ahead of Jordi Viladoms and 4'26" ahead of Joan Barreda Bort. Despres is now at the finish, obviously waiting for his GC rival Marc Coma, who has lost heaps of time in today's special.

10:10 - bike 001 - Km 232: Coma is losing it

After straying off course a while ago, Marc Coma may be living a very dramatic experience from a sporting point of view.

His mistake is costing him dearly. After starting today's stage six minutes ahead of Cyril Despres, he passed kilometre 232 a full 6'52" down on the Frenchman, meaning he has lost a total of 12'52" to Despres.

This unofficial time check is to be confirmed at the end of the special.

10:01 - bike 001 - Coma gets lost!

207 kilometres into today's stage, Marc Coma went far, too far... He now lies 2 kilometres as the crow flies from the course indicated in the road book. In the meantime, his main rivals are forging ahead... The Spaniard is making his way back to the original course, but the field is now led by Jordi Viladoms and Joan Barreda.

09:31 - bike 002 - Despres' lead shrinks

186 kilometres into the stage, at the entrance of the dunes near Santiago, Marc Coma has reduced the gap separating him from leader Despres. The last time their times were taken, the Frenchman was leading by 5'10". His advantage has now shrunk to 2'14"...

09:06 - bike 023 - Barreda Bort strays away from the course!

The young Spaniard did not turn east at km 148 of today's special, as indicated in the road book. He later turned back on his track to get back on the course, losing a few precious minutes in the process. Neither Cyril Despres nor Marc Coma followed this wrong track but, as usual, its mere presence may lead other competitors to stray away from the course.

08:45 - bike 002 - CP1: Despres in the lead

Cyril Despres leads the way at CP1, with a time of 1 h 15'28" for the first 119 kilometres. He is followed by Joan Barreda Bort (+2'14"), Hélder Rodrigues (+3'15"), Paulo Gonçalves (+3'35") and Jordi Viladoms (+3'38"). Marc Coma is 5'10" back. Having started six minutes behind his main rival, the Frenchman is now riding close to the Spaniard.

08:14 Km 95: Despres gains ground on Coma

95 km into the stage, Marc Coma has crossed an unofficial time check with a time of 7 h 41'19", with Cyril Despres posting a time of 7 h 38'59". Taking into account that they started the special with a six-minute delay between them, this means Cyril Despres is gaining ground on the first rider to hit the course today (3'40" so far). To be confirmed at the checkpoint 30 km later...

07:06 - bike 001 - Motorcycles: the race is on

Marc Coma leads the field – not always the easiest position. Cyril Despres starts fourth, in the wake of Spain's Barreda Bort and Viladoms. 275 kilometres to go... The first references will come at km 120.

05:57 - bike The motorcycles are in the liaison section

Marc Coma, followed by Joan Barreda Bort, Jordi Viladoms and Cyril Despres. This is the head of the field for the liaison to the start of today's special, stretching from Nazca to Pisco, both in Peru. The 96-kilometre liaison will be the prologue to the 275-kilometre stage. 100 motorcycles and 12 quads were cleared to start this morning. Today's special could decide the final outcome of the 2012 Dakar in the motorcycle category.

02:30 Nazca-Pisco along the Pacific coast

With 100 kilometres of link route to cover, but especially 275 kilometres against the clock, the thirteenth day of the Dakar will be of capital importance. In fact, it will be the last opportunity to make a decisive difference the day before the finish. The dunes again have pride of place in this part of the country.

The lead in the bike race is far from certain and Cyril Despres's starting position could again lead to interesting developments. Whilst Stephane Peterhansel boasts a controllable lead in the general standings in the car category, it is not that comfortable. Only the leading places in the quad and truck categories can be deemed stable. However, in all the different categories, the remaining top places will be the subject of some feisty battles over the coming hours.

The competitors still have a big day ahead of them. They will have to deal with a not inconsiderable number of dunes, avoid confusion in the similar but diverging valleys and fight against tiredness setting in after covering several thousand kilometres. It is at this point that each of them will remember exactly what extreme endurance really means.


- copyright ASO -

photos on under PHOTOS OFF ROAD


14.01.2012 / MaP

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