Update – Barreda has arrived at finish line finally, losing two and a half hours today and dropping to 7th overall.
Roma? If you have not been following the cars, the Mini’s are way out in front of everyone. So much so, that it was reported yesterday that team orders had been issued to let leader Nani Roma take the overall win and Stephane Peterhansel would have to shadow him to the finish in second. Well that seemed to go out the window today as both drivers crossed the line together. But Peterhansel had started the day in fourth and by catching Roma, took over the lead by a mere .26 seconds! I will be interesting to see how tomorrow goes. Is Roma really going to be handed a win, or will the two battle to the finish, regardless of team orders. Would you give up an Dakar overall just to keep the team happy? I am betting that the Dakar hero Peterhansel is going for the win.
Joan Barreda has suffered some sort of mechanical problem today and is losing huge amounts of time. Apparently something broke in the steering head area of his Honda. He has attempted to make repairs, but is said to be riding with one hand holding something at the front of the bike. He had not reached the end of the stag yet and is in danger of not finishing.
KTM replacement rider Jordi Viladoms inherits second place overall. Depres gets another stage win and Coma stays on track for another Dakar overall victory.
Marc Coma – Today was a very long stage, 350 km. We finished in the Copiapo dunes. This means it is always tough, difficult and not easy for navigating. From the past we know that normally this stage is decisive. So now I’m here, I’m happy of course. We stayed together with Cyril all day and we arrived at the end without any big problems.
Jordi Viladoms -You can never say it’s over when there is still a special to be ridden. There are still a fair amount of kilometres to be covered… But it’s obvious that I’m very happy with what I’ve done up until now. As for Joan [Barreda] I don’t know where he is. I saw him repairing on the side of the tracks and I don’t know if he will be able to finish in time… we’ll see.