Make that four for Marc Coma…
The 37-year-old Spanish rally racing ride won the motorcycle race at the Dakar Rally for a fourth time over the weekend, finishing the rally an hour, 53 minutes ahead of countryman and KTM teammate Jordi Viladoms.
Olivier Pain of France was third, and two-time defending champ Cyril Despres fourth.
“I remember being unable to start last year’s race, and yet I’m here now, I’ve won,” Coma said. “I’m going to savor it. I don’t know if I’ll ever win it again.”
Coma took control of the race, which began two weeks ago, on the fifth stage, a long sandy run to Tucuman, Argentina, and avoided risks and watched his rivals fall away.
His nemesis, Despres, experienced electrical trouble and fell out of contention on the same stage. But Despres worked hard to claw back from 12th to missing the podium by five minutes.
In his previous 10 Dakars, he’d won five times, and been runner-up four times. Fourth was his worst finish since 2001.
Coma added to his victories in 2006, 2009 and 2011.