KTM rider Pal Anders Ullevalseter had claimed his first ever Dakar stage victory in the Santa Rosa stage.
Norwegian Ullevalseter already has eight 2nd place stage finished to his name, but a win has eluded him - until now.
An overjoyed Ullevalseter said: "A fantastic stage for me. I started third and after 40km I was in the lead. Today was a route for big bikes. We could really attack and in the last hours I was riding at more than 160km/h. It’s perfect!"
Frenchman Cyril Despres (KTM) finished second today, ahead of Catalan rider Marc Coma (KTM).
Depres said: "There was only a small section of sandy tracks and about 20 km of sand dunes. It’s always a pleasure to ride that. It was cool when the liaison section started then it got hotter fast. It is much easier to stay focused when you drive a bit fast. I trust my KTM and my tires. I knew I would drive fast and it would be fine."
Ullevalseter's performance today is enough to earn his 2nd place in the overall standings, behind this year's perennial front-runner KTM rider Cyril Depres.