Dakar, Day Nine

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Cyril Despres continues to step up his game in the later stages of the Dakar rally.
Cyril Despres continues to step up his game in the later stages of the Dakar rally.
Cyril Despres continues to step up his game in the later stages of the Dakar rally.

The best Dakar riders usually up their game in the second half of the race. That’s what Cyril Despres is doing, with a first-place finish yesterday.

Day Nine will be the longest section of the 2013 Dakar, at 853 kilometres. Despres finished in5:41.36. That’s 3:21 ahead of second-place Joan Barreda. Alessandro Botturi was third.

While Husqvarna has to be happy with their riders finishing second and third on the rally’s longest day, the top four riders in the overall standings are all KTM-mounted (Ruben Faria, Despres, Chaleco Lopez and Ivan Jakes). Botturi is in fifth place. Overall leader David Casteau crashed yesterday, dislocating his shoulder and losing almost a half hour. He also ran into mechanical problems.

Today’s stage is 636 kilometres long, with a 357-kilometre timed special taking riders from Cordoba to La Rioja in Argentina.

You can check out video highlights from yesterday’s racing here.

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