Thu, Jan 15, 2009 - Page 20 News List

Rider remains in coma after Dakar crash

DPA AND AP , SANTIAGO AND COPIAPO, CHILE

David Casteu of France rides his KTM during the 10th stage of the Dakar 2009, near Copiapo, Chile, on Tuesday.

PHOTO: AFP

Spanish motorcyclist Cristobal Guerrero remains in a coma following his crash on Tuesday on the 10th stage of the Dakar Rally through the Atacama Desert.

“The rider landed with full force on his head in the crash,” Ana Quiroga, head of the Atacama regional health authority, told Chilean radio yesterday.

Guerrero lapsed into a coma following the accident on his KTM motorbike after 160km of the 467km-long stage and was airlifted to a hospital in Copiapo.

French motorcyclist Pascal Terry and two drivers from a transport vehicle have been killed during this year’s rally.

Yesterday’s 11th stage of the race from Copiapo to Fiambala in Argentina was cancelled due to poor weather conditions.

Carlos Sainz won his fourth successive stage in the car race on Tuesday. The stage was set to be the longest of the rally, but 200km in the middle were lopped off as the terrain was hard because of a lack of sand in the world’s driest desert.

Sainz and Robby Gordon, the NASCAR star, then dueled for the lead with Sainz winning the stage by 21 seconds.

With his sixth stage win of the rally, Sainz improved his overall lead to 27:31 over Miller. Giniel De Villiers of South Africa was third, 41:13 back, after being stuck for 20 minutes in a hole.

Defending motorbike champion Cyril Despres led overall leader Marc Coma through the first four checkpoints but made a navigational error and took 23km to get back on course.

Jordi Viladoms of Spain won the stage, just over a minute ahead of Alain Duclos of France. Coma led overall by 1 hour, 24 minutes from David Fretigne of France. Despres was third.

Also See: Senegal counts cost of Dakar Rally relocation

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