The final stage of the Rally Dakar brought the race to a close without too many challenges. Saturday offered an interesting stage, after what has been a very demanding and often grueling two weeks in Argentina, Bolivia and Chile.
Joan Barreda Wins Final Battle
After yesterdayÂ´s gruelling experience of losing his runner-up position in the overall standings, Joan Barreda recovered from the shock and despair and showed again a fantastic stage by winning the final day. The stage over 157 km special test on winding, slippery tracks through the hills between La Serena and Valparaiso was the showdown of the Dakar 2014, a race full of ups and downs, and tons of experience to make for the team, machine and riders.
Marc Coma Wins the War !
It was perhaps Marc Coma's finest victory in his Dakar career as he led the overall standings from Stage Five. He completed the thirteenth stage, near 9,000 km course in 54 hours 50 minutes and 53 seconds, almost two hours ahead of second placed Viladoms.
Having to lead from the front for more than half of the rally was also a tribute to Coma's skills as a rider and tactician and is testament to his physical and mental strength. He completed the rally with three stage wins, four second-place finishes and three thirds.
Coma described his Dakar experience as â€œan extreme and grueling Dakar and dedicated the win to "my friend Kurt Caselli"Â. Caselli, part of the Red Bull KTM Factory team was killed in a race accident in November.
"Without the right people behind me it would have been impossible to win, Coma said. "We have worked very well throughout the race and also before. Last year I went through a very difficult situation not being able to compete because of injury and I came back to win the race. I think this says a lot about the people I have around me. I am very proud of this victory. What was key to winning the Dakar was not to make any mistakes".
Coma, who has been a KTM factory rider since 2003, first won in Africa in 2006. He then repeated his success in 2009 and 2011 after the Dakar was relocated to South America. He did not compete in 2013 because of injury.
Dakar 2014, Stage 13:
1. Joan Barreda (ESP, Honda) +01:59:44
2. Olivier Pain (FRA, Yamaha) +00:00:40
3. Helder Rodrigues (PRT, Honda) +00:01:23
4. Juan Pedero Garcia (ESP, Sherco) +00:01:35
5. Cyril Despres (FRA, Yamaha) 00:02:30
6. Jordi Viladoms (ESP, KTM) +00:03:31
7. Michael Metge (FRA, Yamaha) +00:04:08
8. Daniel Gouet (CHL, Honda) +00:04:17
9. Jakub Przygonski (POL, KTM) +00:05:16
10. David Casteu (FRA, KTM) +00:07:20
13. Paolo Ceci (ITA, Speedbrain) +00:09:01
22. Juan Carlos Salvatierra (BOL, Speedbrain) +00:12:20
27. Pedro Oliveira (PRT, Speedbrain) +00:13:46
Provisional overall standings:
1. Marc Coma (ESP, KTM) 54:50:53 hrs
2. Jordi Viladoms (ESP, KTM) +01:52:27
3. Olivier Pain (FRA, Yamaha) +02:00:03
4. Cyril Despres (FRA, Yamaha) +02:00:38
5. Helder Rodrigues (PRT, Honda) +02:11:09
6. Jakub Przygonski (POL, KTM) +02:31:46
7. Joan Barreda (ESP, Honda) +02:54:01
8. Daniel Gouet (CHL, Honda) +03:10:34
9. Stefan Svitko (SVK, KTM) +03:50:10
10. David Casteu (FRA, KTM) +03:58:09
14. Juan Carlos Salvatierra (BOL, Speedbrain) +06:13:42
19. Paolo Ceci (ITA, Speedbrain) +08:24:06
24. Pedro Oliveira (PRT, Speedbrain) +10:38:29