Day 10 saw Spaniard, Joan Barreda take his fourth stage win in the 2014 Dakar ahead of Hélder Rodrigues and Cyril Despres. Yesterday’s 15-minute penalty for speeding did not shake Barreda’s belief in his chances of winning, as he showed in the 428-mile stage 10 from Iquique to Antofagasta. The Honda rider, who had started the first of today’s two specials in tenth place, used his position on the course to follow the tracks of the preceding riders. By the end of the day he had overtaken six motorcycles on the course and taken his ninth Dakar win, 8:00 ahead of Portuguese teammate Rodrigues and 9:40 ahead of Despres.

“In the beginning I could not find a very good rhythm, but once I was inside the dune section things went well and I could run a consistently fast pace,” says Barreda. ” I am happy for my teammate Helder Rodrigues and his second place today. Now let´s stay focused for tomorrow, which brings the longest special stage of the rally.”

After starting first this morning Marc Coma spent all day long keeping the gaps within acceptable limits, conceding 11:26 to Barreda but retaining a 44:10 buffer in the overall standings. Despres was second off the start line and quickly caught up with yesterday’s winner, Coma. Despres continues to move up the pecking order and now sits in a distant sixth place, 2:28:27 behind Coma.

Today’s bad news came from Chile’s, Jeremías Israel Esquerre, who had to drop out due to a fall, relinquishing his fourth place in the overall to Olivier Pain, fourth today. The battle for the bottom step of the podium promises to be an epic one, with Pain, Rodrigues, Despres and Poland’s Przygoński within 13:03 of one another.

Provisional results Stage 10:
1. Joan Barreda (ESP, Honda) 04:42:00 hrs
2. Helder Rodrigues (PRT, Honda) +00:08:00
3. Cyril Despres (FRA, Yamaha) +00:09:40
4. Olivier Pain (FRA, Yamaha) +00:11:11
5. Marc Coma (ESP, KTM) +00:11:26
6. Jakub Przygonski (POL, KTM) +00:15:08
7. Stefan Svitko (SVK, KTM) +00:15:14
8. Javier Pizzolito (ARG, Honda) +00:16:58
9. Ivan Jakes (SVK, KTM) +00:18:17
10. Daniel Gouet (CHL, Honda) +00:19:21

Provisional overall standings:
1. Marc Coma (ESP, KTM) 41:48:33 hrs
2. Joan Barreda (ESP, Honda) +00:44:10
3. Jordi Viladoms (ESP, KTM) +02:02:03
4. Olivier Pain (FRA, Yamaha) +02:16:12
5. Helder Rodrigues (PRT, Honda) +02:21:16
6. Cyril Despres (FRA, Yamaha) +02:28:27
7. Jakub Przygonski (POL, KTM) +02:29:15
8. Daniel Gouet (CHL, Honda) +03:05:54
9. Stefan Svitko (SVK, KTM) +03:33:07
10 .David Casteu (FRA, KTM) +03:41:54