Saturday’s Dakar Rally saw French rallyist Stephane Peterhansel and Cyril Despres defend their car and motorcycle titles. Peterhansel was at the forefront ever since the second stage held on January 6, 2013 thus ensuring that he was the most successful driver in this challenging rally. He dedicated his record breaking win to Jean Claude Olivier, the team manager who died due to a tragic accident in France last weekend.
Despres was favored for the win after Marc Coma of Spain who was his long time rival. Coma recently suffered a shoulder injury and was hence out of the race. Despres was also penalized for changing engines in mid race but managed to regain his lead last Tuesday. In Saturday’s events he was four minutes behind stage winner Ruben Faria of Portugal.
In the overall count, Despres was 10:43 ahead of Faria and 18:48 ahead of Francisco Lopez of Chile. His success was even more noteworthy considering the grueling challenges of Dakar. Tough conditions coupled with weather constraints added to the challenge.