I’m coming to the Dakar to fight for the lead and for first place so when yesterday’s stage was cancelled it was not a good feeling. Today I was happy to fall back into a fast rhythm.
I knew that Marc would be out to get some time back on me on today’s stage and that the dunes of Copiapo would be an intense riding experience. Marc eventually caught up with me after 200km and I let him past. It’s not my job to open the stage and go crazy trying to push through the desert with no clues in front of me to help find the right path.
As soon as Marc reached me I knew his time would be two minutes faster than me for today’s stage but that is the benefit of starting the day with an overall lead of 10 minutes. I made sure that I kept Marc in my sights for the remaining 200km of the stage because of course I don’t want to lose all of my lead.
'Coming down the side of the dunes was like being on a rollercoaster ride'
The riding on the second part of the stage was good fun and I was glad to be back in the dunes of Copiapo. It’s not the hardest Dakar stage I have done at Copiapo but it’s never going to be easy. They always manage to keep us guessing about what we will find out there. They sent us to the biggest dunes in the area today and coming down the side of them was like being on a rollercoaster ride at an amusement park.
It was a relaxing ride for me to be able to follow Marc through this section and keeping up with his speed was an enjoyable test. When we came to the end of the stage he finished just before me and that’s the way it should be. He lead me through 200km of open track so the code of respect between us meant I had to let him be the first to cross the line. Marc really did a good job leading the way through some tricky valleys and finding some good racing ground.
Tomorrow on the rest day I will get some washing done, get a massage and do my best to prepare for a successful second half of the Dakar.
Keep tabs on Cyril’s 2012 Dakar Rally on Red Bull’s dedicated desert classic website.
- Check out more Cyril Despres blogs
- Head to his official website at cyrildespres.com
- Go to the official website of the Dakar Rally 2012