Despres took his first stage victory of 2012 today and was able to build a nice lead in front of Coma. Coma made a navigational error during the third stage and lost valuable time. After 164 kilometres of racing, Coma accidentally took the car/truck path. Coma traveled for about 4km down the wrong path before realizing his mistake.
"There was a different track for the bikes and the cars," Coma said. "I checked the road-book and thought I was on the right track, but then I saw that wasn't the case, because the next note was after 8 km and it wasn't correct, so I turned round! 16 km is a lot! So, after that, I went on the attack to try and gain back some time, but today was a difficult day, even if the scenery was spectacular... Well, in the end, I've lost 13 minutes. It's a lot, but when you make a mistake, you shouldn't be surprised that the gaps open up. That's racing for you. Yesterday was my day, but today definitely wasn't!"
"It was a very complicated special stage for me! It didn't start well this morning, because when I hit a hole, I ripped off a fingernail on the clutch. 60 km later, my compass repeater stopped. We reached the mountains and I wanted to keep the same pace, because I knew that Marc was riding very fast in front of me, but when we got to a stream, I must have slowed the pace when I had to check my GPS. To cap it all, I broke my rear brake on the big climb, so the descent was very tricky, but I made sure I was careful. Over the last 50 kilometres, I couldn't see many tyre tracks, so I wasn't sure that Marc was up ahead. In the end, I finished first and I've been told that he chose the wrong track so that's going to be to my advantage. It's good for my position, even if I'm never happy about other people's setbacks."
Behind the two KTM riders, David Casteu finished the day in third just a few seconds faster than stage one winner Chaleco Lopez. Casteu and Lopez are both more than 17 minutes behind Despres.