Despres takes Dakar lead from Coma: Day Three update

Cyril Despres has taken the first overall spot at the 2012 Dakar rally. Photo: KTM Images

KTM’s Cyril Despres is now the overall leader in the 2012 Dakar rally, after winning Stage Three.

Despres beat out Marc Coma for first place yesterday when Coma made a navigational error, which cost him a 16-kilometre detour. Despite mechanical problems with his machine, including broken rear brakes, Despres was able to capitalize on that opportunity to take the stage, as well as first place overall.

The course ate up another American contestant yesterday. Quinn Cody, the U.S.A.’s top rider, broke his collarbone, so like fellow countryman Jonah Street, he’s now outside the action.

Street, by the way, announced his retirement yesterday, citing health, machinery, and funding woes. He worked hard to bring his privateer effort to Dakar this year, only to have a heartbreaking exit on the second day, when electrical woes sidelined his bike.

Check out the video below with Day Three’s highlights. And, after three days, here’s the top five in the motorcycle standings:

1. Cyril Despres (KTM)
2. Marc Coma (KTM)
3. David Casteau (Yamaha)
4. Francisco Lopez Contardo (Aprilia)
5. Hélder Rodrigues (Yamaha)

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