Dakar: Cyril Despres Talks Stage Three


2012 Dakar Rally

With his Stage Three victory Tuesday, Cyril Despres not only took the day’s win, but also the 2012 Dakar overall lead.

Following his 27th Dakar stage win, the Red Bull KTM 450 Rally rider now moves into first place, 10:12 ahead of teammate and rival Marc Coma (MRW Red Bull AMV KTM 450 Rally), and 17:16 ahead of Yamaha’s David Casteu.

Stage Three took the motorcycle competitors 348 miles from San Rafael to San Juan, with 167 miles timed.

Taking second behind Despres in the 2012 Dakar stage was Sherco SR450 rider Frans Verhoeven, who finished 8:37 behind Despres. Third went to Husqvarna Rally 450 RR Dakar rider Paulo Gonclaves, who finished 8:39 behind Despres.

Cyril Despres (Red Bull KTM 450 Rally) says: “The strange thing about rally-raid is that often you don’t know whether or not you are having a good day until it is over. Up to about 10 kilometres from the finish all I knew was that it was a very, very tough day.

“It started badly this morning when I tore a finger nail putting on my boots. Then at about kilometre 160 my compass stopped working. And finally, on the really technical last 70 kilometres, in the dried up river bed, I damaged my rear brake disc.

“They are all the sort of things that can cost you time, so I was surprised when, on a remade piste near the end, I couldn’t see any tracks ahead of me. Then I noticed that the TV helicopter was flying over me.

“But it was only when I actually arrived at the finish line was I certain that I had won the special. Obviously I am pleased with the result, but I have been doing this long enough to know that it is just another detail in the long route to Lima.”

2012 Dakar Rally: Stage 3 Results:

1. DESPRES – 03:48:38
2. VERHOEVEN – 03:57:15 – variation 00:08:37
3. GONCALVES – 03:57:17 – variation 00:08:39
4. RODRIGUES – 03:58:41 – variation 00:10:03
5. CASTEU – 04:00:20 – variation 00:11:42

2012 Dakar Rally Overall Standings (After Stage 3 of 14):

1. DESPRES – 07:31:42
2. COMA – 07:41:54 – variation 00:10:12
3. CASTEU – 07:48:58 – variation 00:17:16
4. LOPEZ – 07:49:19 – variation 00:17:37
5. RODRIGUES – 07:51:31 – variation 00:19:49