Sunday, January 16, 2005

The End of the Dakar Rally 2005

Cyril Despres came to this Dakar with two objectives: To win his first Dakar and at the same time remember the loss of his fallen friend Richard Sainct, who died on September 29th whilst competing on the Pharaoh Rally in Egypt, but following the death of his second master, Fabrizio Meoni, the Frenchman was torn apart, making this victory even more significant.
"It was a good thing that the fight carried on because I think I deserve what I came for even more: first position," he said. "During the tests that we did in Tunisia, we had made the promise with Fabrizio to put a 'blue bike' on the podium.
"My main achievement is to have managed that goal, for him and for Richard," he added. "It's an indescribable feeling. I don't want to be sad but that's how I feel. I don't want to be happy but it's difficult not to be."
Despres finished 9min 17secs ahead of Spain's Marc Coma who backed up last year's promising eleventh position on his debut with a fine second this year, taking his first maiden win on stage 11.
"I'm very happy with my second place overall and I would have signed for it before the rally," he said. "But the circumstances make the result less important this year.
"I would only like the people to get together and think about what happened so that the rally takes a new good direction, making it better for everybody."
South Africa's Alfie Cox celebrated his third position after being pushed all the way by Spain's Isidre Esteve Pujol over the final few stages, eventually taking the final place on the podium by just 22 seconds from his KTM team-mate.

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