DAKAR 2009

Despres wins bike stage, Sainz pulls ahead in auto event

Cyril Despres (KTM) won his second stage of the motorbike rally ahead of Spanish teammate Marc Coma, who retains the overall lead. In the motorcar event, Spaniard Carlos Sainz (Volkswagen) extended his lead with a fourth win.

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AFP - France's Cyril Despres, on a KTM, won the motorcycle section of the eighth stage of the Dakar Rally on Sunday, but had to take evasive action to avoid a donkey which had strayed onto the track.

Marc Coma of Spain, who finished second on the 294km special from Valparaiso to La Serena, 1min 49sec behind, kept the overall lead in the standings.

It was Despres's second stage win on this year's race which allowed the 2005 and 2007 champion to move into third spot in the standings, 1hr 33min 34sec behind Coma.

But his win came in dramatic circumstances.

"Around fifteen kilometres from the finishing line, a donkey suddenly shot out from behind a bunch of cacti," said a stunned Despres.

"I think it was a lucky escape, for both him and me.

"The tracks were quite slippery and that’s why you need technical skill to be quick on them and strength too, to keep control of the bike."

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