Thursday, April 26, 2012

Dakar 2012 - Stage 8

Copiapo to Antofagasta

After the rest day, Coma starts the stage and setting a good pace from the start.  Despres was following in his dust, until coming to a river crossing which turned into  mud overnight.  Despres rode straight into it and got hopelessly stuck.  Standing knee-deep in the thick, sticky mud, he struggled for 10 minutes to try and get his bike out.  Goncalves soon joined him in the mud.  Goncalves helped Despres to get his bike to edge of the road and Despres eventually got out and headed off, leaving Goncalves on his own.  Poor form Despres!

Ullevalsetter also fell into the trap, but luckily ended up close to the edge of the road, so he had less trouble getting out, but still lost time.  The teams protested to have this time deducted, which it did.  In my opinion, this isn't right.  This is part of racing out in the unknown.  Yes, they have notes, but you'll surely get thrown the curve ball from time to time.  I'm pretty sure if it was just some of the lower rated riders that it wouldn't have been granted.

So, stage win goes to Coma.  Following is Faria, Ridrigues, Bort and Svitko.  In the overall rankings, Coma jumps into the overall lead with 00:01:26.

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