Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

Concerns grow as hobby drone use increases

Read more

WEB NEWS

Buffalo residents share stunning images of the snowstorm

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Senegalese photographer's flashbacks to Africans throughout history

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Hollande photographed with Julie Gayet on Elysée Palace balcony

Read more

REVISITED

Is Beirut still haunted by ghosts of the civil war?

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Band Aid 30 - Hit or Miss? Bob Geldof in Hot Water over Ebola Single

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Deal or No Deal with Iran? Home Stretch to Reach Historic Agreement

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Football scandals: The ugly side of the beautiful game

Read more

#THE 51%

Ending violence against women: The dangers of trial by Twitter

Read more

Americas

France wins both car and motorbike divisions

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-01-15

France enjoyed a double coup at the Dakar Rally Sunday, with Cyril Despres winning the motorbikes section and Stéphane Peterhansel emerging victorious in the cars category, the latter marking his 10th Dakar crown.

AFP - There was double French delight on the Dakar Rally on Sunday as Stephane Peterhansel won an unprecedented 10th title by winning the cars section and Cyril Despres wrapped up a tight motorbikes category.

Peterhansel, driving a Mini, was previously a three-time car winner and six-time motorcycle champion of the gruelling rally but it was his first victory in the race since it moved to South America in 2009.

The Frenchman, who went into the final stage with a 43-minute lead over closest rival Nani Roma of Spain, finished 10th on the 29km special, 3:12 off American Robby Gordon's pace.

Peterhansel covered the 8,400km-long rally, of which more than half were timed specials, between Mar Del Plata in Argentina and Lima in 38hr 54min 46sec, with team-mate Roma at 41:56, and South African Toyota driver Ginel De Villiers at 1.13:25.

"When you think of how hard it is to win a Dakar, it's incredible that I've been able to win 10 of them," said Peterhansel.

"It's been a long time, I've been waiting for five years to win again! To take the victory in South America is a huge relief, it ranks among my best triumphs.

"Moreover, the race was very close during the first week and there was always a lot of pressure."

The Frenchman added: "I don't know what I could do to go one better! Beating this record is going to be difficult... for the others!

"This race is stressful, exciting and fascinating, and it's also very rewarding at the end. Now I'm going to party with the entire team and then we'll see."

Peterhansel added: "My finest victory will always be my first win in the motorcycle category, but this one has something special to it.

"I was starting to doubt myself, to think I was growing too old for this, that I'd lost it or that I wasn't made for South America... and in the end everything turned out fine!

"But I still have a blue bandana from my motorcycling period. I didn't tell anyone, but I kept it in my pocket throughout the entire rally. It's the story of the comeback of the blue bandana."

The motorbike category was won by Despres, who came through the stage unscathed to finish ahead of Marc Coma, whose wrong turn on Saturday's stage handed his rival a clear run to the title.

It was a fourth title for Despres, riding a KTM, after the stage won by Dutchman Pal Ullevalseter.

Despres clocked 43hr 28min 11sec in the overall timings, 53:20 ahead of Coma, with Yamaha rider Helder Rodrigues of Portugal in third at 1.11:17.

"I always pay attention to detail. I like doing my homework and, in my job, when things go OK you end up winning!" said Despres.

"Today we won and it's simply fantastic. This is without a shadow of a doubt the toughest Dakar I've ever raced in.

"It was difficult physically, but even more psychologically. Challenging yourself every morning and fighting on the course takes its toll on your mind. It's not like a 42-kilometre marathon; here, you have to earn your place every morning."

Despres added: "All victories are beautiful, but this one is special because it came down to the wire and was decided at the last minute. This was an unimaginable scenario, with the leaders separated by mere seconds.

"I've done 90 or 85 rallies throughout my life, and this one was the one where I had to fight the hardest. Today will leave its mark on me."

 

Date created : 2012-01-15

  • DAKAR RALLY

    Defending champ takes seventh stage of Dakar rally

    Read more

  • DAKAR RALLY

    France's Peterhansel takes overall lead in Dakar in Mini

    Read more

  • SPORT

    Roma wins Dakar third round, Holowczyc in overall lead

    Read more

COMMENT(S)