Despres completed the 478km in just over four hours and three minutes to claim his fourth stage win of the race as the Rally entered Peru for the first time.
Setting off from Arica, the Frenchman tucked in behind Coma for a large part of the stage before breaking away for the 30th stage win of his Dakar career.
The two minutes and one second he gained on Coma now gives him a two minute, 22 second lead in the overall standings.
"The day already started with a bath in a stream, pushing the bike alongside," Despres reflected. "It was a tough day, all in all. An important development might be if someone moves in between Marc and me."
On the day Gerard Farres separated Despres and Coma, grabbing second place with yesterday's winner, Joan Barreda Bort, ending up in fifth.
Farres' surprise second place could work in Coma's favour tomorrow, however, as it means Coma will start four minutes behind Despres and have every chance of catching up on the day and taking the overall lead.
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