Frenchmen Win The 2012 Dakar Rally (Updated)!
The final podium of the 2012 Dakar was set up on the Plaza de Armas for the podium ceremony. 1st on the podium was Cyril Despres who beat his Spanish teammate Marc Coma and Portugal’s Hélder Rodrigues. Next up will be Alejandro Patronelli & Tomás Maffei.
In the car class, the Minis took a one-two, with Stéphane Peterhansel grabbing his tenth Dakar ahead of Nani Roma and South Africa’s Giniel de Villiers (Toyota). The stage 14winner, Robby Gordon finished 5th overall.
In the truck category, Team Iveco also got a one-two, with De Rooy and Stacey ahead of Kazakhstan’s Artur Ardavichus and his Kamaz.
Quotes from the winners:
Cyril Despres, “I always pay attention to detail. I like doing my homework and, in my job, when things go OK you end up winning! 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. 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.”
Stephane Peterhansel, “When you think of how hard it is to win a Dakar, it’s incredible that I’ve been able to win ten of them. 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. Winning the rally for Team X-Raid makes it even more special, since Sven Quandt has been waiting for years for this to happen. 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!”
Pics, footage & quotes courtesy www.dakar.com