Dakar - Motorbikes - Leg 6
KTM Red Bull motorbiker Cyril Després finally put all his bad luck behind to take his first stage win at this year's Dakar Rally, setting the day's best performance across the trails reaching from San Rafaël to Mendoza.
The win comes at
the right time for him, as he desperately wanted to get through one clear day in Argentina without suffering tyre problems of one sort or the other...
"It's a memory to cherish," he declared, "because it hasn't always been the case for me this year!"
"The sand was light grey yesterday, but after the rain this morning it was dark grey. It felt like it was a different place, but it was actually the same dunes," Després related.
"Of course, when you can see the tracks from a long way off, you try and take short cuts here and there to gain a few seconds," he continued, before proudly adding: "I rode the race well today."
Marc Coma, racing at the controls of his KTM Repsol bike, felt the 'Després danger' on this run. Although his adversary holds a deficit counting over 90 minutes in the overall rankings, the Spaniard is keeping a watchful eye on the Frenchman.
Crossing the finish line two minutes after Després, rally leader Coma did not give much away today, but in case of trouble he knows his rival will catch up fast. Coma was followed by teammate and fellow countryman Jordi Viladoms in third place.
"I'm really happy with this stage," stated Viladoms. "All in all, I'm happy because I've worked hard."
"My results could be better, but the other riders have had mishaps too," he pointed out. "I feel good, on top form and I hope it continues like this."
In the general standings, Coma's lead on American driver Jonah Street stands at 40'29". Saddling his Yamaha 450 - which delivers 30kph less to play with than the KTMs - David Frétigné comes next on the final step of the provisional podium.