De Villiers, Marcos Win Dakar Rally
South African Giniel de Villiers has won the Dakar Rally. De Villiers drives for Volkswagen. Spanish rider Marc Coma, on his big orange KTM, took first place amongst the competing motorcyclists, his second Dakar victory. The death of French rider Pascal Terry has loomed heavily over the event.
Rounding out the winners' circle: Czech rider Josef Machacek wins in the quad class, and Firdaus Kabirov claims his second win in the truck class.
The Dakar Rally is a war of attrition for most competitors, who are mainly riding or driving just to complete the arduous race, which, aside from the extreme road (or lack-of-road) hazards, can be lost simply by moving too slowly and finding oneself eliminated. A relative few are actually seeking victory.
One untimed liaison stage* remains, which is just a formality.
De Villiers won the auto section and Coma triumphed among the motorcyclists following a final 227km special from Rioja to Cordoba to take the honours in the race's 30th edition, which decamped for security reasons from Africa to South America this year with great success.
De Villiers, driving for Volkswagen, led teammate Mark Miller of the United States by two minutes 20 seconds going into the final special and increased his advantage to eight minutes and 59 seconds to emerge exultant.
(* In liaison stages, support vehicles are permitted to assist a rider whose vehicle encounters a mishap)
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