Monday 16th January 2012

PH2: Despres takes Dakar (just)

Tough man takes tough win on Dakar rally

French off-road legend and all-round hard man, Cyril Despres, took his fourth Dakar Rally title at the weekend after a race-long battle with KTM team mate Marc Coma.

Having covered a total of over 5,000 miles split into 14 stages containing a mixture of road, tracks and sand dunes, Despres was just 53 minutes and 20 seconds ahead of Coma after the Spaniard suffered a gearbox failure on the eve of the last round, robbing him of 45 minutes and the spectators of an epic final stage.

"This is without a shadow of a doubt the toughest Dakar I've ever raced in. It was difficult physically, but even more psychologically. Challenging yourself every morning and fighting on the course takes its toll on your mind," said Despres.

"It's not like a 42-kilometre marathon; here, you have to earn your place every morning. All victories are beautiful, but this one is special because it came down to the wire and was decided at the last minute. This was an unimaginable scenario, with the leaders separated by mere seconds. I've done 90 or 85 rallies throughout my life, and this one was the one where I had to fight the hardest. Today will leave its mark on me."

Author: Riggers

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Last comment was by Shurv
on 22nd January 2012