Cyril Despres – “I’ll keep fighting on!”
An electrical fault has left Cyril Despres with a mountain to climb after stage four of the Dakar Rally.
Stage four of the Dakar Rally from San Juan to Chilecito has proved a tough one for the competitors of the Dakar Rally with even defending champion Despres falling foul of the conditions.
Marking the second half of a marathon stage, the 352km special was initially going to plan for the Frenchman as he took the virtual overall lead of the rally towards the end of the stage. But with just nine kilometres left to run his race took a turn for the worse when the support bracket holding his Iritrack system broke. It caused an electrical short that grinded his Yamaha to a halt.
The ex-mechanic battled for an agonising 40 minutes to find and repair the problem before finally finishing in 16th position. Sixth overall in the rally but now 41 minutes behind race leader Joan Barreda, Despres has a mountain to climb if he wishes to turn his race around. But if anyone can do it the five times Dakar champion certainly knows how.
“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed but I’ve been here before and still reached the top of the final podium,” told Despres.
“It would have been so easy to have abandoned out in the special and catch the next plane home, but I love this race, I love riding my bike and most of all I love a challenge. And as long as I believe I have a fighting chance I’ll do exactly that – keep fighting.”
With 13 stages still to go, this race is far from over.
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