Despres wins on sad day

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Stage ten of the Dakar Rally was won by Cyril Despres but clouded by the news of the death of José Manuel Perez after his crash on stage 7.

Despres started the 483km loop stage in seventh place but set a hot pace, taking the fastest times at all three checkpoints and eventually finishing the race more than 10 minutes ahead of second placed man Fabrizio Meoni.

The win means that Despres takes the overall lead from Meoni and is now more than nine minutes ahead.

Third place on the stage went to Isidre Esteve Pujol with former leader David Fretigne making his way back up to fourth.

Honda riding Brit Mick Extance finished the stage on 32nd place putting him 45th overall. Over 100 bikes have now dropped out of the race so far.

The day was darkened by the news that Spanish KTM rider José Manuel Perez had died from the injuries he sustained in a high-speed crash on stage seven. Perez was airlifted of the course on Thursday and underwent an emergency operation in the bivouac before being transferred, via Dakar, to a hospital in Alicante. The operation was thought to have been successful, but his condition worsened and he passed away earlier today.

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MCN Staff

By MCN Staff