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Dakar mud bath delays Despres as Coma takes the lead

Dakar mud bath delays Despres as Coma takes the lead
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Stage eight of the Dakar Rally turned out to be a sticky affair for three-time winner Cyril Despres.

The Frenchman went into the day leading the race but 11 kilometres in he steered his bike into a knee-deep mud trap.

Although Despres escaped unscathed his little mud bath cost him almost 17 minutes.

But race officials did decide to deduct the time lost after changing the route when the seventh motorcycle got stuck.

Defending champion Marc Coma made no such mistake and avoided the mud pit to claim his 20th Dakar stage win.

With the victory Coma seized control of the overall lead, where he now holds a 1’26” advantage over Despres.

In the car category, it was also a Catalan who claimed the win in Antofagasta, Chile.

Nani Roma steered his mini to top honours.

The 2004 Dakar motorcycle champion beat American Robby Gordon by five seconds.

But Gordon gained over 5’30” on French Dakar legend Stéphane Peterhansel, whose overall lead has now been whittled down to 7’36”.

Stage nine is a 556 kilometre trek from Iqique to Arica in Chile