2012 Dakar Rally
Following 15 grueling days of racing in South American that only included one rest day, the Frenchman Cyril Despres earned his fourth Dakar title.
Utilizing his usual elite riding style in the 2012 Dakar Rally, the Red Bull KTM 450 Rally rider gracefully tackled almost 5,600 miles from Mar del Plata, Argentina, through Chile to Lima, Peru. Along the way, Despres won four stages, taking the overall win by over an hour over his teammate/rival, three-time Dakar winner Marc Coma.
Cyril Despres (Red Bull KTM 450 Rally) says: “We won and it’s simply fantastic. 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. It’s not like a 42-kilometer 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.”
The 2012 Dakar Rally is now in the history books for a Despres win in the motorcycle category, along with his other titles from 2005, 2007 and 2010, all of which were also won on KTM motorcycles.
With his 2012 victory, Despres also gave KTM 11 consecutive Dakar titles; the Austrian brand has won every Dakar Rally since 2001 with the exception of 2008 (Africa), which was canceled due to security threats.
Attached above is wallpaper highlighting Despres’ dominant performance at 2012 Dakar Rally.