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SOUTH AMERICA. reports: Marc Coma has decided to leave his position as Sporting Director of the Dakar Rally.

The five-time winner of the Dakar has been in a pivotal role for Dakar event organisers ASO, leading the change in making the event increasingly difficult and varied for riders in terms of terrain, altitude and mental toughness – in short, he’s been instrumental in bringing the event back to the status of world’s toughest motorcycle race.

Coma has been in his role at the Dakar for three years and as yet hasn’t made it clear what his next focus in life will be.

Coma said of his Dakar departure: “After having competed in the Dakar and won it five times, I’ve been lucky enough to discover what it’s like on the other side of the fence and the amazing organisational machine that runs this outstanding event. Being in the heart of the rally for three years, in contact with specialists fully devoted to their task, has taught me much about the professionalism and commitment of the organisational teams that work on an event that is unique throughout the world. I hope that the Dakar continues to be the subject of excitement and dreams for many a year to come.”