Coma claims stage nine win

Marc Coma won the ninth stage on Monday after picking up the tenth stage victory of his career - beating overall motorbike leader Cyril Despres by a mere four seconds.

Thick Fog hampered the 9th stage - a 547 Kilometer trek from Capiago to La Serena - so the special stage was shortened. Even though it was a mere 338 Kilometers, the drivers and riders still found the going tough as it was mostly on the soft desert sand.

The best ten finishers from the previous day started side by side - the going got tough but the tough got going over the soft dunes with many of them finding navigation difficult.

Last year's champion Marc Coma made an error - It could have cost him dear as he rode 5 kilometers further than the rest of the field. But the Spaniard still was the fastest man to claim the stage win.

Spanish motorcyclist Marc Coma, seen here on January 10, has won the ninth stage of the Dakar Rally, the 170 kilometres special from Copiapo.

Marc Coma, Motorbike 9th Stage Winner, said, "It's really an unusual day. It's the last day of our trip at the Atacama desert. The competition was very interesting. Though my navigation had some problem, I had a good result. I am very happy."

Moving to the cars, stage eight winner Stephane Peterhansel was undone by the dunes of the Atacama which caused him to lose a significant amount of time. Nasser Al Attiyah won the 6th stage victory of his career with a time of one hour, 59 minutes and 28 seconds. Overall leader Carlos Sainz finished second.

Carlos Sainz, Car Category Overall Leader,said, "I feel very good. The whole course is the desert. We take the advantage of our car-Volkswagon's Touareg to have a comeback. The result is good."

Stage 10 will take place from La Serena to Santiago.