Dakar 2015: report stage 10 Calama – Cachi

AUTO - DAKAR 2015 PART 2Joan Barreda wanted a stage win on the road to Cachi to put several days of bad luck behind him on Dakar 2015. And yes, the Spaniard got his way in a special in which he was head and shoulders above a nonetheless impressive Marc Coma. Nasser Al-Attiyah produced another virtuoso performance on the road to Salta to clinch his fourth stage and expand his already wide lead in the general classification. Buenos Aires looms on the horizon.

Joan Barreda, frustrated by a streak of bad luck which sounded the death knell for his overall ambitions in stage 8 of Dakar 2015, was determined to grab as many stage wins as possible to finish the Dakar in style. The Spaniard, possibly the most talented rider in the field, claimed his third win since the start in Buenos Aires after setting an infernal pace throughout the entire special and finishing 1:39′ ahead of Marc Coma in Cachi. Coma himself was the other big winner of the stage, as he increased the gap separating him from his closest rivals.

rali_dakar_2015_gallery10A (31)Paulo Gonçalves had to settle for fifth, conceding an extra two minutes to his KTM foe. Eighth-placed Pablo Quintanilla lost even more ground and now holds a wafer-thin margin over the solid Toby Price, fourth on the stage. Ruben Faria also had a good day on the saddle, clocking the third fastest time, just like sixth-placed Štefan Svitko. Juan Pedrero, on the other hand, lost heaps of time towards the end.

Meanwhile, in the quad category, Nelson Sanabria clinched his second stage win in Dakar 2015 after producing a masterful ride to beat young Jeremías González by 3:40′ in Cachi. Walter Nosiglia capped a South American 1-2-3, but the big winner of the stage was none other than Rafał Sonik. The Pole capitalised on the withdrawals of close rivals Ignacio Casale and Sergio Lafuente and now has a 2 h 51′ margin over González Ferioli with three days to go until the finish of Dakar 2015 in Buenos Aires.

rali_dakar_2015_gallery10A (24)Nasser Al-Attiyah, firmly in command of the general classification since the second stage of Dakar 2015, is not the kind of driver who doses his efforts to make sure he comes out on top. The Qatari wants to win like a true champion as he fights for his second overall victory at the Dakar, as he showed on the road to Salta with his fourth stage victory this year. Al-Attiyah easily dominated the competition to beat Orlando Terranova by 1:35′ and, even more importantly, put a further 3:30′ into Yazeed Al-Rajhi and 4:24′ into Giniel de Villiers. The only two men left in Al-Attiyah’s way came up short and are now 28 minutes adrift or more.

A lonely fourth overall, Krzysztof Hołowczyc kept going to finish six minutes behind the winner, just behind the equally solid Bernhard ten Brinke. The big surprise of the day was Leeroy Poulter, fourth at 4:06′ —a new career best at the Dakar. Stéphane Peterhansel’s Peugeot was only good enough for ninth at 7:23′, right behind Emiliano Spataro and his Renault!

rali_dakar_2015_gallery10A (19)No-one would be surprised if Eduard Nikolaev were to be frustrated after taking his sixth stage win in Dakar 2015. The Russian, only second overall following a calamitous seventh stage, is clearly the fastest driver on the tracks but could run out of road before he can close the gap in the general classification. Ayrat Mardeev, second this day a mere 49 seconds down, is doing a great job to defend his overall lead with three stages to go and still boasts a sizeable 13-minute margin over his teammate.

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