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The Crash of Cyril Despres
Dakar : KTM - Leg 6
Only two or three days ago we were speaking about solidarity between the competitors. We were talking about privateers, that have to count each other in order to add some more possibilities to reach Dakar. Today we had a confirmation of this particular
soul inborn in the adventure of Dakar and in his protagonists. The story came directly from the head of the race.
This morning, in the middle of the special test of 444 kilometre, three riders were leading, Despres, Coma and Esteve. Same track, same speed, maybe same unsteadiness: what to do in order to draw the maximum advantage from the stage? The track was fast, and navigation insignificant. The main problem was to monitoring the speed.

At a moment Cyril Despres fell down. It was at kilometre 273, inan undulated terrain section of the special test. A heavy fall. Just after Marc Coma came and stopped near Despres, immediately stopping his race. Competitors suddenly switched to colleagues, then to friends. No more team partition or antagonism. Cyril was insensible, so The Repsol KTM World Champion turned on the emergency radio beacon of the last year's winner and alerted the medical headquarter of the organization.

Then also Isidre Esteve came, and the riders stayed near the luckless Gauloises KTM Team exponent until he showed he was able to continue. But from this moment they proceeded all together until the finish at reduced speed. The first news reached the bivouac of Zouerat assuming a collar bone fracture for Despres. Meanwhile Chilean Carlo De Gavardo reached the leaders and, due to his starting position, won the special test. At the bivouac Despres was checked by the doctors: not any fracture, but the dislocation of the left collar bone. Cyril Despres has announced that he will try to take the start in the tomorrow's stage, but the pain induced by the dislocation of his shoulder can be very loud. Of course the rider has been a hero in the last 170 kilometre of the special test.

Therefore Carlo De Gavardo won the special test just in front of his Repsol KTM team-mate Giovanni Sala, and Isidre Esteve. Norwegian Paul Ullevalseter was fourth and Coma fifth. In the standings overall the gap between Coma and Despres is now less than 4 minutes, but the today's accident is pending on the result of the race.

The sixth stage of the Rally started very early this morning, The riders left Ta Tan at 01:40 AM and reached the border between Morocco and Mauritania only at six AM. So they had only a short hour to rest before the start of the long today's special test. It was therefore a short yesterday's afternoon: the competitors prepared their “luggage”, had a fast dinner and reached early their sleeping bag. The today's stage has been full of tiredness, and the race is not finished: tomorrow the competitors will face one of the longest special test of the rally, almost all in the dunes with full of navigation and difficulties.

A moving village. When you think on the Dakar you refer to the race. And this is correct. The evident and shining side of the competition is the main highlight. But the other side of the race is the adventure. Imagine now how 2.500 people can move across the desert. It is something ancient, it is like a migration of a hasty population. Every night a small town springs in the middle of nowhere. A small village characterized by this strange architecture of modern tents that disappears every following morning.
Press Release KTM

     Bad news for Despres
     Thierry Magnaldi winning the special
     Volkswagen leads Dakar Rally with three Race Touareg
     Despres believes he has broken collar-bone
     Schlesser fastest at first CP
     Mitsubishi Team enters Zouerat in fifth, ninth and tenth
     Three questions to Andreas Schulz
     A difficult day !
     Overall Coma holds the lead in front of Despres
     Team Dakar USA storms back

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