Dakar Rally – stage 12
The day was won in the style of a past-master by Cyril Despres, claiming his second triumph in 2014 and his 33rd on the Dakar! Second to start in the morning behind Marc Coma, the title holder quickly caught up with the Catalan and overtook him to open the way.
Behind them, the day’s big loser was Joan Barreda, second in the general standings on departure from El Salvador in the morning. Following electrical problems on his Honda, the Catalan had to stop several times from the 265-km point onwards and crossed the finishing line on foot, 2:29’35 after Despres! His misfortunes smiled on Olivier Pain, the third quickest today, 5’57’ behind the stage winner, but also Helder Rodrigues, fourth to finish, 7’21” behind Despres, and Jordi Viladoms, fifth placed 9’10” behind the day’s fastest man.
In the general standings, Marc Coma, who received a fifteen minute time penalty yesterday evening after changing his engine, takes a decisive advantage for victory with a lead that now stands at 1:59’49” over none other than his water carrier Jordi Viladoms. The second ranked Catalan will nevertheless have to be careful on the final stage, since he only has a lead of 10’27” over the first Yamaha ridden by Olivier Pain, who is in turn a short 3’45” in front of his team-leader, Cyril Despres, who could still finish on the podium in Valparaiso.