BIKE news from stage 8

09.01.2012: DAKAR 2012 Stage 8 January 9th, 2012 13:06 - bike 001 - Finish: Coma in the lead 5 h 03'52" after starting today's special, Marc Coma has just crossed

DAKAR 2012  Stage 8  January 9th, 2012

changes behind Faria

Spain's Joan Barreda Bort and Slovakia's Stefan Svitko have taken third and fourth in today's special. The Husqvarna rider finished 8'44" behind the winner, with the no. 32 KTM pilot a further 25" back.

Therefore, they have squeezed between second-placed rider Ruben Faria and his fellow countryman Hélder Rodrigues, who finished 9'46" down. In the general classification, Coma and Despres are followed by Hélder Rodrigues (+51'37") in third place, and David Casteu (+1 h 10'37", eighth in today's stage) in fourth place. Jordi Viladoms (+1 h 12'27") rounds off the Top 5.

13:06 - bike 001 - Finish: Coma in the lead

5 h 03'52" after starting today's special, Marc Coma has just crossed the finishing line. The Spaniard should move into the overall lead thanks to the mishaps of his teammate Cyril Despres. His closest rivals in the special should arrive in roughly ten minutes.

Despres loses 17'20"

Confirmation of the provisional podium at the finish of the eighth stage of the 2012 Dakar: Marc Coma blazed the course, beating the Portuguese duo of Ruben Faria (+7'00") and Hélder Rodrigues (+9'46"). The fourth man across the finishing line was Cyril Despres, who lost 17'20" and the overall lead to Coma, who now has a 9'32" margin.

12:03 - bike 002 - Despres loses ground

After conceding heaps of time when he got stuck in mud at the beginning of today's stage, Cyril Despres is now losing even more. At CP3, 314 kilometres into the special, the gap between him and Marc Coma has ballooned to 15'49".

11:57 - bike Faria and Rodrigues chasing Cina

The Portuguese duo of Ruben Faria and Hélder Rodrigues are chasing leader Marc Coma in the classification of today's special. After 314 kilometres, Faria lies second at 4'26" back, Barreda Bort third at 6'00" back, Svitko fourth at 6'19" back, Pedrero García fifth at 6'56" back, Rodrigues sixth at 7'08" back. They are followed by Viladoms (+5'34"), Verhoeven (+8'14") and David Casteu (+8'59") in ninth.

11:26 - bike 001 - Marc Coma 314 kilometres into the stage

The KTM rider has just gone through CP3 with a time of 3 h 24'41". He is leading both the field and the provisional classification.

09:49 - bike 001 - CP2: Coma still in the lead, many changes behind him

With a time of 1 h 12'51", Coma still leads the race, but it is now fellow countryman Joan Barreda Bort who lies second, 1'57" back. Stefan Svitko is back in the thick of it, 2'08" back, ahead of Ruben Faria (+2'19"), Juan Pedrero Garcia (+2'26"), Olivier Pain (+2'28") and Jordi Viladoms (+2'47"). David Casteu lies tenth, 3'40" back. On the other hand, Cyril Despres is currently losing 12'55" to his teammate.

09:23 - bike 001 - CP2: Coma reaches km 118

Marc Coma is now filling up his tank after going through CP2 ahead of Hélder Rodrigues and Gerard Farrés Güell. He clocked a total time of 1 h 12'51" for the first 118 kilometres of today's special, 4'46" faster than Rodrigues and 6'45" faster than Gerard Farrés Güell.

09:14 - bike CP1: a never-seen-before classification

Now that the first 20 riders have gone through CP1, we have a clearer picture of the hierarchy in the eighth stage of the 2012 Dakar. Although Marc Coma is still in the lead, he now has Frenchman Olivier Pain right behind him, just 38" back, with Italian Alessandro Botturi a further 18" back. Juan Pedrero lies 1'23" back in fourth, just ahead of Ruben Faria, 1'36" behind Coma. This never-seen-before classification and the ever-diminishing differences with the leader are probably the result of improving conditions at the muddy area between km 8 and km 12 of today's special.

08:56 - bike CP1: Despres lags 12 minutes behind Coma

The Frenchman has just gone through CP1 with a time almost 12 minutes slower than that of his teammate Marc Coma: exactly 11'55" after 65 kilometres. Ruben Faria has posted the second best provisional time (+1'36"), ahead of Frans Verhoeven (+1'44") and David Casteu (+2'44"), while Farrés Güell has dropped to fourth.

08:52 - bike Coma with a big lead

Marc Coma was the first rider through the km 65 checkpoint, clocking a time of 40'37". The second rider on the course went through the checkpoint no less than 11 minutes later. It was Portugal's Hélder Rodrigues, 4'26" behind Coma. Gerard Farrés Güell has just crossed CP1 with the second fastest time: 3'37".

08:27 - bike 002 - Despres loses almost eight minutes

Cyril Despres and Paulo Gonçalves' muddy nightmare is over, and they have both left this difficult area. The general classification leader is reported to be losing roughly eight minutes at km 11 of today's special - his entire margin in the general classification.

08:21 - bike Despres and Gonçalves stuck in the mud!

In the motorcycle category, France's Cyril Despres and Portugal's Paulo Gonçalves have been stuck since a few minutes ago in a muddy area, 10 km into today's special. On the other hand, Marc Coma has gone through this area uneventfully and is now forging ahead. Portugal's Hélder Rodrigues also got bogged down but was able to get out of the mud without getting stuck.

08:07 - bike Let the battle of the KTMs begin!

Marc Coma is leading the way ahead of his teammate, general classification leader Cyril Despres. The leaders of the 2012 Dakar started at 7:52 am local time the eighth stage, with a 477-kilometre-long special as the main course. The first checkpoint lies 65 km into the stage.

07:39 - bike 004 - Chaleco will not start today

What a disappointment for the Chilean rider in front of his home crowd! After suffering a fall during stage 7 last Saturday, Francisco López had already expressed doubts on whether he would be to continue the 2012 Dakar at the finishing line, blaming pain in his right knee... The Aprilia no. 4 rider did not go through the bivouac exit earlier this morning.

06:15 - bike The motorcycles are heading for Antofagasta

Today's 722-kilometre special stretches between Copiapó and Antofagasta, both in Chile. The menu includes a 137-kilometre liaison heading north followed by a 477-kilometre special (and a road section leading to the bivouac). 123 riders are expected to start today's stage, following Marc Coma, who set off from the bivouac at 5:42 am local time. The special will be made even more exciting by the duel between Cyril Despres and the Spaniard, who are separated by 7'48". Behind them lie Rodrigues (+49'39"), Gonçalves (+55'33"), Casteu (+1 h 05'38") and Viladoms (+1 h 07'40").

The Dakar faces the Atacama again

The eighth stage of the 2012 Dakar stretches from Copiapó to Antofagasta and consists of a 245-kilometre liaison and a 477-kilometre timed section. After Sunday's rest day, this special will set the scene for the continuing feud between Cyril Despres and Marc Coma at the top of the motorcycle classification.

It will also bring the leader of the car classification, Cyril Despres, to the fore. His margin over a chase group led by Holowczyc, Gordon and Roma is more symbolic than anything. The same goes for Gerard de Rooy, who still leads the truck classification ahead of Loprais, Stacey and Ardavichus.

Will Saturday's revolution in the quad category continue on Monday? Despite the length of the stage, no decisive gaps are expected to open up in Monday's back-to-racing special. The longest stage of the rally will allow pilots to ease back into the competition. The pace on the stony courses leading to Antofagasta will be quite high while still allowing pilots to enjoy the majestic landscapes.

copyright ASO



09.01.2012 / MaP

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