The second part of the marathon stage saw the competitors race the 260 km between Sa Itria and Arbatax, with no possibility to change tyres before the 100 kilometer mark. And once again the battle raged between Marc Coma and Cyril Despres, with both having just one objective – victory – as Marc did in 2010 and Cyril did in 2009. But the performance of the day came from another Dakar winner, Stephane Peterhansel.
“I caught the Polish rider Prygonski who straightaway increased the pace. Then the Italian Matteo Grazziani appeared out of nowhere and made a sign to follow and I understood I was on the right track, while others rode around in circles.”
‘Peter’ finally finished 4th to move up to 6th overall, one minute behind Jakub Przygonsky and less than five minutes behind the fourth placed man, the Italian Cecci. Two days from the end of the race a podium finish for the ‘retired’ Frenchman is not out of the question! Despite ‘Peter’s’ attack and Helder Rodrigues’ navigation difficulties the Portuguese rider managed to hold on to the third place overall ahead of the Italian Paolo Cecci (Beta) and the Pole Jakub Przygonsky on his KTM 450.
Tomorrow the 4th stage between Arbatx and Oresei (390 km), with two special stages of 45 km and 60 kms.