1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
Scratch 3 3 9 1 19 1 2 2 2 1 1 4 3 8
Stage 3 3 9 1 19 1 77 2 2 1 1 4 3 8 -
Overall 3 14 8 6 8 4 24 19 18 17 16 16 15 15 -

"We’ll see the same guys in front"

Marc Coma has extraordinary talent and determination. His first showings (4th in his maiden Dakar in 2002, 11th the following year, despite a fractured wrist and model team mate when Nani Roma won in 2004), quickly provided an idea of his potential. His valour was solidified in 2006 on the 28th Dakar that he won convincingly from Cyril Despres, who he finished runner-up to in 2005. The 29 year old Spaniard confirmed the validity of a champion capable of running up front. In 2007, the Catalan had won three stages and was looking a sure bet for the win. A brief lapse in concentration, followed by a navigation error and a fall in the Mauritanian forest cost him a chance at a second victory. After that the Jordi Acarons protégé got his house in order, winning the 2007 world title and rediscovered his sensations as a rally man with a second and dominating Dakar victory in 2009. He dominated the rest of the field from start to finish on the South American route with the status as the favourite that doesn’t bother him in the least. Marc Coma doesn’t change his way of preparing for the event. Used to an intensive pre-Dakar training period, he comes into the 31st edition with everything he needs to defend his title. His three wins this year (Tunisia, Dubai and Morocco) confirmed his merited status. “To be the favourite is, at the end of the day, a good thing. It proves that we are competitive. But this changes nothing for us. We work without any concern for anything or anyone else.” His fall and broken left collarbone during the Rally of Sardinia, while he was in the lead, are now behind him. And the new rules that aim to reduce the advantage of the big bikes doesn’t seem to phase Coma. “Undoubtedly it creates uncertainties. For sure there are more riders in it with a chance. But I am convinced we will see the same guys running up front.”

Dakar start photos on line: www.maindruphoto.com