The blistering speed of Cyril Despres brought home a stage win on day ten of the 2013 Dakar and propelled the Frenchman up the overall rankings.
Cyril fought back from some recent mechanical misfortune to put in the sort of performance that has seen him win four editions of the Dakar.
After the remarkable stage win Cyril now sits in second place with his team-mate Ruben Faria 5m23s ahead of him. The duo have now put themselves in a very strong position to secure Cyril’s fifth Dakar title on the remaining route to Santiago.
“When you love your job like I do and things are going well for you then days like this are really special. What makes today’s result satisfying for me is that I didn’t win the stage by riding crazy and asking too much of the bike.
I was sensible with my bike and I always felt I had another 10% in me to push even harder if needed.”
There was also a big push in the truck race from Eduard Nilolaev of Team Kamaz. The Russian took full advantage of his rival Gerard De Rooy suffering from mechanical problems to claim top spot in the overall timings.
“When we came to the end of the stage we were told that our truck is now leading the Dakar. It’s not so easy for me to adjust to being in this position because it’s a new experience for me.
I will have to learn to adapt to this situation because this is where I want to be. Luckily I have a great team behind me and I can ask our captain Vladimir Chagin for advice anytime.”
It was a cruel day for the Qatar Red Bull Rally Team as the Buggy of Nasser Al-Attiyah was forced to withdraw from the race on Stage Nine.
After pressing for the lead in the car race it was a broken water pump that eventually ended Nasser and co-driver Lucas Cruz’s attempts to win the 2013 Dakar.
Nasser’s retirement from the race means that South Africa’s Giniel De Villiers moves into second place overall and will be out to catch Stephane Peterhansel on the long and winding road to Santiago.