03 janeiro 2009

A vitória esmagadora de Coma na primeira etapa vista pelo sitio oficial do rally

Marc Coma’s methodology does not involve hesitation. He seems to have even grown in stature since the Dakar in 2007, where he was way ahead of all his pursuers in the first two decisive steps in Morocco, at Er Rachidia and Ouarzazate. On the inaugural special of this 31st edition, the Spaniard carved out a gulf between him and his rivals, confirming his unofficial status as the fastest rider in the world. Having started behind title holder Cyril Despres, the winner in 2006 already boasted the best intermediate time after 134 km of the race, 1” ahead. He used this first section to catch up with Despres, and what was to follow was a springboard to leaving him in his wake at CP 3 (after 248 km), with the race becoming a demonstration ride. On the 123 km of long straight tracks remaining, Coma showed the full extent of his power: at the finishing line at San Saladillo, he had to wait for almost half an hour before the first of his pursuers arrived. Finally, it was Jacek Czachor who came home in second position, with a gap to make up that would destabilize even the toughest of competitors: more than 22 minutes.

There is no way of really knowing whether the pitfalls at the start of this event will be fatal to overall hopes. However, the situation has never been as critical in terms of final triumph for Cyril Despres. With uncertainty hanging over his choice of tires for this year before the start, the Frenchman received some sort of confirmation on this first special stage: he crossed the line with the rims bare on his rear wheel, 41 minutes behind Coma! Others misfortune rarely lessens his own distress, but David Casteu, a serious challenger for the title, also experienced problems with his tires. Following a puncture, he was forced to turn round and head back to CP2, where one of his team-mates, Emanuel Gyenes, gave him his rear wheel. In total, he has a deficit of 1:01.53 to make up on Coma over the next 13 stages if he still hopes to win.

Sem comentários: