Ex-biker Despres: “We ran at a good pace on the WRC-style tracks”


Cyril Despres dropped to third after stage five of the Dakar Rally - Credit: Flavien Duhamel/Red Bull Content Pool

The navigation issues that saw a whole host of drivers and riders lose their way and lose significant amounts of time also affected Peugeot’s Cyril Despres, who lost the lead of the 2017 Dakar Rally as a result.

The Frenchman felt he had a good day despite losing more than 10 minutes to his team-mate Sebastien Loeb that saw him drop from the lead to third in the rally, with Stephane Peterhansel also jumping the former bike rider to take the lead.

Despres knows there is still plenty of time within the rally to make amends, with only five stages in the books of the event that concludes in the Argentinian capital Buenos Aires next Saturday.

“We ran at a good pace on the WRC-style tracks today, which isn’t bad for an ex-biker,” said Despres, who along with co-driver David Castera finished fourth fastest on stage five. “The navigation then got a little tighter and we missed one of the headings.

“We got back on the correct route at the same time as Stéphane which cost us a few minutes, as well as the rally lead. It’s not too serious, though.”