The 2015 Dakar Rally headed back into Argentina today, as Stage 10 took riders out of Calama and into Salta. Stage 10 is the start of another marathon stage, meaning only the riders will be able to work on their machines tonight and tomorrow, until the end of the riding of Stage 11. While the first marathon stage likely helped determine this year’s winner, the second marathon stage seems to be less of an affair. KTM’s Marc Coma sits with a seven-and-a-half-minute lead over HRC’s Paulo Goncalves. Goncalves finished 5th today, to Coma’s second, roughly two-minutes behind the overall leader.
HRC rider Joan Barreda may be out of contention for the overall Dakar victory after losing over three hours with technical issues on Tuesday, but he remains in stunning form having won stage ten of the 2015 Dakar. His victory brings his stage win tally to three as he continues to battle with race leader Marc Coma on a daily basis. "I got off to a great start this morning. Everything fell into place. It was easy because there wasn't much in the way of navigation. It was basically a main track we had to follow. It's a pity, what happened in Uyuni, on the salt flat... I was in the lead, the toughest part was over, the odds were stacked in my favour... There's nothing I can do now apart from finishing like this. It's just about helping the team and trying to get a good result."
After losing time yesterday it was a good day for KTM man, Coma who finished second on the stage to put vital minutes in between him and his closest rival Paulo Goncalves. Coma now leads the overall standings by 7m 35s with four stages still to run. Stage ten represented the second Marathon stage of the rally meaning that riders will sleep in a separate bivouac tonight and are not allowed any outside assistance from their teams. Coma said: “It’s been a tough Dakar. We have to fight many adverse situations but after so many days and despite the suffering, I am still enjoying it. That is what is great about this race. It makes you confront your limits and when you think you can’t do any more, you face them and move on. Today’s stage was very hard and it was not easy to keep up a high pace. At first there was the altitude, and then a technical part that really tested us. I tried to keep up the same pace throughout the stage.”
Goncalves may have lost time today, but the former FIM Cross Country world champion remains in contention and along with his fast team-mates Barreda and two time stage winner Helder Rodrigues will be intent on pushing Coma all the way, hoping to force the four time Dakar winner into a mistake. Goncalves said: “Today was a fast stage, with little difficulty in way of navigation. The track was a bit slippery at the beginning, you had to be careful. Soon there were four of us riding together. I think we rode well, saving our motorcycles, which was crucial because this evening's a marathon stage. My motorcycle is ready for tomorrow already... and I'm ready to keep up the fight."
Stage 10 Standings:
1, Joan Barreda, ESP, Honda at 4:07.11
2, Marc Coma, ESP, KTM at 1.39
3, Ruben Faria, POR, KTM at 1.57
4, Toby Price, AUS, KTM at 2.14
5, Paulo Goncalves, POR Honda at 3.46
6, Stefan Svitko, SVK, KTM at 6.22
7, Helder Rodrigues, POR, Honda, at 6.26
8, Pablo Qunitanilla, CHI, KTM 6.29
9, Ivan Jakes, SVK, KTM, 8.59
10, Hans Vogels, NDL, KTM, at 10.19
Overall Standings after Stage 10
1, Coma, 38:13.50
2, Goncalves at 7.35
3, Qunitanilla at 31.42
4, Price, at 32.06
5, Svitko, at 45.19
6, Casteu, at 1:41.14
7, Faria, at 1:41.40
8, Sanz at 2:05.00
9, Jakes, at 2:25.51
Watch the Video after the jump...