Stage 9 of the 2012 Dakar rally bringing the competitors to one of the most beautiful sceneries as they are about to reach the finish in Iquique. A 22km down hill slope of sand over viewing the ocean. Perhaps some of the riders caught a glimpse of the view as they were racing downwards to the last check mark of the stage.
It´s not over till it´s over...what a day and what a show the audience witnessed as the stage opened up for any of the rivals to beat it first to the finish. Check point by check point and the duel between Spanish title holder Marc Coma and leader of the rally Cyril Despres.
CP1: Cyril Despres 1st, Marc Coma 5th +0.07
CP2: Cyril Despres 1st, Marc Coma 3rd +1.12
CP3: Cyril Despres 1st, Marc Coma 3rd +.3.55
CP4: Cyril Despres 1st, Marc Coma 2nd +3.27
CP5: Cyril Despres 1st, Marc Coma 2nd +3.26
By the end of the day Cyril Despres wins the stage and is in the lead of the motorcycle category by 2.28m, quite unbelievable. Simply the Dakar at its very best!
Pål Anders Ullevålseter who ran in 2nd on the 8th stage and made a world class performance got another chance of proving his skills. However not quite reaching the high standards of yeasterday´s classy riding. Did crash badly, but was unhurt, new helmet for next stage! Finishing twelfth on the stage, 18.59m behind Cyril Despres. Pål Anders climbs the latter to a 9th in the overall. (According to Pål Anders site he was running in 6th on the stage and 8th overall, but overall and stage standings seem to not have been updated properly at dakar.com, and things do happen even after the race i s over, these are merely provisional standings!)
21st on the stage and 43rd in the overall is where we find Captain Berglund, and then there was Mr Munk from Denmark 66th on the stage, 63rd overall, and finally Mr Bodinger finished 79th...
Once again it is a true pleasure finding these riders all still carrying along in the Dakar... Not many days left now. Just hang tight!
Provisional standings stage 9: Antofagasta-Iquique
Special Stage 556km
1 (2) Cyril Despres (FRA) 28.09.35
9 (6) Pål Anders Ullevålseter (NOR) +01.49.27
43 (29) Thomas Berglund (SWE) +07.53.40
63 (86) Jes Munk (DEN) +10:39:07
86 (107) Ronnie Bodinger (SWE) +17:11:32