SANTIAGO (AFP) –
France’s Cyril Despres, riding a KTM, won his fifth Dakar Rally motorcycling title on Saturday as the 2013 edition came to an end with a 150km timed run into Santiago.
Despres had also been champion in 2005, 2007, 2010 and 2012.
Portugal’s Ruben Faria claimed second place, 10min 43sec off his teammate’s pace, with Chilean rider Francisco Lopez, on another KTM, in third, 18min 48sec behind the leader.
“It’s true that I needed to cross the line and see all these pictures and people here to know that no-one can take this win from me,” said Despres, who was 17th on the concluding stage.
“The day when winning the Dakar becomes easy, it won’t be interesting any more. And this day is still far off.
“It’s too long, it’s too tough, it’s too hot, it’s too cold, you’ve got to rise early in the morning, you’ve got to find your way out of the dune mazes in Peru and Chile, you’ve got to tackle the stones and cactuses on the courses near Cordoba.
“It’s just too tricky for it to be easy to win. And it’s even better when you win a difficult race.”
In the auto section, France’s Stephane Peterhansel, started the last stage with a 44min 38sec lead over South Africa’s Giniel De Villiers and virtually assured of an 11th title.Published 20 Jan 2013, 01:00 IST