No last minutes surprises on the 2012 Dakar, with the final victory going to Cyril Despres ahead of Marc Coma. The Portugese rider Helder Rodrigues was third.
“Without doubt this fourth Dakar victory was the hardest – both physically and psychologically. From the very first stage, all the way to the end of the last real stage, Marc (Coma) and I battled it out and mentally that made it particularly exhausting. We are so close in terms of outright speed and navigational ability that the slightest error can allow the other to pull out a decisive lead – there is never a moment to relax. To have such a rivalry doesn’t make either of our lives easy, but it does add to our sport’s excitement and gives our victories greater merit.
Once again we were both blessed with excellent machinery and a fantastic road book with which to fight our battle, so a very sincere ‘thank you’ to KTM for producing such a great bike and ASO for organising such an excellent event. The last part of the rally in Peru provided some of the best terrain I have ever raced over, the 12th stage in particular left a lasting souvenir. Finally, a big thank you to my team and my sponsors for making this fourth victory possible”.
1 – DESPRES – 19:28:11
2 – COMA – 20:21:31 – variation 00:53:20
3 – RODRIGUES – 20:39:28 – variation 01:11:17
4 – VILADOMS – 21:09:07 – variation 01:40:56
5 – SVITKO – 21:15:39 – variation 01:47:28
Pictures: Marcelo Maragni/Red Bull Content Pool