Despres Dakar Stage 9 © Marcelo Maragni/Red Bull Content Pool

Cyril tells us about regaining his overall lead on the ninth stage of the 2012 Dakar Rally…

My head was pretty clear this morning because the job I had to do on the stage was obvious to me. I needed to get out there and claw back some minutes. It was foggy and dusty in the morning and it took me longer than I expected to get past some of the guys in front.

I had a good feeling after the 130km mark and started to push as I had planned I would do on the stage. There was a liaison route in between the two timed sections today and then the final 90km was like a motocross track. I picked up the trail of Marc’s bike and I said to myself: “Let’s start!”

If you look at the backgrounds of Marc and myself you could say that he has more experience of riding at top speed in a motocross style, but I was pleased with my performance. The word for this Dakar is unpredictable and I definitely see that carrying on into Peru and onto the finish line.

"Now I have changed my mindset from protecting my lead to creating a new one"

A few days ago my race tactics were determined by my ten-minute lead. When those are the circumstances you find yourself in it encourages a certain caution. Then I had my problem with mud on yesterday’s stage. The race organisers gave me back some time from that incident which I think is fair. Even with some time back the final result from the stage has still made the race a lot different.

Now I have changed my mindset from protecting my lead to creating a new lead. Today I made some minutes and that is my plan for each day now. It’s like a rugby match when you have a lead you play a certain way but the tactics have to change when the scores are level.

Cyril is back in front of Marc Coma after the ninth stage. Keep tabs on Cyril’s 2012 Dakar Rally on Red Bull’s dedicated desert classic website.

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