Despres fights back in the Dakar dunes on Stage 12

A long string of dunes were on the menu for the penultimate stage of the desert classic.
By Tim Sturtridge

Yamaha rider Cyril Despres continued to fight back today as the competitors faced 350km of special stage to get from El Salvador to La Serena in Chile.

After a difficult start to his 2014 Dakar Rally, Despres won today by 2m 17s from the Red Bull KTM of rival Marc Coma, who yesterday incurred a 15-minute penalty for an engine change on his machine.

Both Coma and Despres lost time as they were nearing the end of the stage when they jointly missed a Waypoint and had to turn back. Despres still managed to win, however, and finished 5m 53s ahead of fellow countryman Olivier Pain who came home third. Despite Despres’ win, Coma holds onto his overall lead in the race.

There were problems for Spanish rider Joan Barreda, who was running second overall yesterday. The Team HRC man had to nurse his bike to the end of the stage to finish up with 64th place on the stage, 2h 29m 35s behind Despres. Barreda’s sluggish progress on Stage Twelve have seen him forfeit his second place overall and slip down the general rankings to seventh.

Bikes: Overall after Stage 12
1 Marc Coma, KTM, 52:40:16
2 Jordi Viladoms, KTM, + 01:59:49
3 Olivier Pain, Yamaha + 02:10:16
4 Cyril Despres, Yamaha + 02:14:01

Marc Coma running on a fresh engine
Marc Coma running on a fresh engine © Marcelo Maragni/Red Bull Content Pool

More Dakar content from our Event page

The game of cat and mouse between the top two truckers at this Dakar continued as Andrey Karginov and Gerard de Rooy traded blows on Stage Twelve. Today the stage victory went to Dutchman De Rooy but his winning margin of 31s sees Russia’s Andrey Karginov remain in control with only stage left to race. Karginov’s Team Kamaz Master team-mate Eduard Nikolaev came home third on the stage to maintain the same position in the overall rankings.

Trucks: Overall after Stage 12
1 Karginov/Mokeev/Devyatkin, KAMAZ, 52:36:12
2 De Rooy/Colsoul/Rodewald, Iveco, + 00:07:25
3 Nikolaev/Yakovlev/Rybakov, KAMAZ, + 01:38:38

The car race on Stage Twelve saw 11-time Dakar champion Stephane Peterhansel cruise past team-mate Nani Roma to take the overall lead. Another stage win for Peterhansel puts the Frenchman 26s clear of Roma who has been demoted to second place. Nearly an hour behind comes Nasser Al-Attiyah in third with fourth placed Giniel de Villiers breathing down the Qatari’s neck going into the final stage of the race.

Cars: Overall after Stage 12
1 Peterhansel/Cottret, Mini, 48:45:45
2 Roma/Perin, Mini, + 00:00:26
3 Al-Attiyah/Cruz, Mini, + 00:54:07

Local favourite Ignacio Casale picked up another special stage win to inch towards overall victory in the quad category. At the completion of the 350km stage the Chilean was 5m 05s ahead of Sebastian Husseini, the day’s second fastest quad biker. Rafal Sonik maintained his second place in the general rankings with a fourth place finish on this penultimate stage of the 2014 Dakar Stage.

Quads: Overall after Stage 12
1 Ignacio Casale, Yamaha, 66:16:27
2 Rafal Sonik, Yamaha, + 01:23:42
3 Sebastian Husseini, Honda, +05:39:30

Team Kamaz Master at work
Team Kamaz Master at work © Marcelo Maragni/Red Bull Content Pool

Marc Coma's Bitesize Blog…

“Altitude is something new that we’ve had to deal with since the Dakar Rally moved to South America. And it’s something we’re still learning about all of the time. In Africa the stages were generally flat but with the race now travelling through countries like Bolivia we are racing at over 4000 metres above sea level. Altitude affects people in different ways – there isn’t really any consistency to it. It depends on how you feel that day. Sometimes it may not cause a lot of issues but other times it can be horrible.”

Dakar Alphabet… F is for Fesh Fesh

Sand traps at the Dakar are a little more hazardous than the type you expect to find on a golf course. During its time in Africa the sand that everybody was out to avoid was Fesh Fesh, a fine sand that looks like solid ground but swallows up vehicles like soft mud. Now Fesh Fesh has a South American cousin called Guadel and this perilous sand is lying in wait to claim more victims in 2014.

On This Stage…

2009: Carlos Sainz’s dream of a first Dakar Rally win is over as his rolls in a ravine to surrender his lead. However, the Spaniard will return the following year…

Dakar Quiz…

In 2010 the world watched as a group of Chilean miners were trapped below ground in Copiapó. An incredible rescue mission saw all 33 miners safely returned to the surface, how long were the miners trapped?

☐ 49 days
☐ 59 days
☐ 69 days

Yesterday’s answer: Brazil won the 1962 FIFA World Cup in Chile.

Coming Tomorrow…

There are still plenty of hazards to negotiate on the final stage of the 2014 Dakar Rally. Competitors will have to pay special attention to the abundance of cacti on the route and those tyre popping needles. A flat tyre on the last day of the Dakar could be the difference between success and failure.

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