Despres wins 2005 Dakar

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Frenchman Cyril Despres has won the Dakar rally for the first time despite a strong challenge from Spaniard Marc Coma.

Despres had almost 10 minutes advantage over Coma going into the final 31km stage, and lost just 28 seconds. The big question was whether Alfie Cox would be able to keep third place from Isidre Esteve. Esteve had been challenging hard and took second on the final stage, but Cox did just enough to claim the third step on the podium.

The only non-KTM in the top ten was Frenchman David Fretigne on the Yamaha in fifth place. Brit Mick Extance finished 48th while Si Pavey took 78th overall for Team Dome GB.

The winner of the final stage was Kello Walch from the American KTM team, with Esteve second, and Eric Verhoef third.

The podium presentations took place on the finish line but it was a rather subdued affair for the KTM riders after the death of Fabrizio Meoni earlier in the race.

MCN Staff

By MCN Staff