Despres nears Dakar win

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On the penultimate day of the Dakar rally, Frenchman Cyril Despres has moved closer to his first-ever overall win.

Despres started the 569km stage with a lead of just over three minutes after receiving a nine minute penalty for speeding in villages on an earlier stage. With a starting position of 7th for the stage, two places behind closest rival Marc Coma, the Frenchman was obviously inspired as he passed Coma before the first control point of the day, and managed to finish the day in Dakar with a lead of six minutes 29 on the day. His performance was matched by privateer and fellow Frenchman Alain Duclos, who was second on the stage and just one minute behind, with Andy Caldecott third.

Overall Despres leads by nine minutes and 45 seconds, with just 31km of special stage to ride on the final day. Alfie Cox is currently in third but the South African's podium place is increasingly under threat from Isidre Esteve, who is only one minute and 28 seconds behind.

Brit Mick Extance is in 48th place, while British-based BMW instructor Si Pavey is currently in 78th.

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MCN Staff

By MCN Staff