Dakar Rally Gets Started

Paul Carruthers | January 2, 2003

Cyril Despres and his KTM clocked the fastest time of the Telefonica Dakar prologue, the event held on a .62 of a mile track in Marseille’s Parc Chanot.

Despres’ time of 1:39.89 topped Spaniard Joan Roma (KTM) with KTM privateer Cyril Raynal finishing third.Last year’s race winner Fabrizio Meoni took things easy and settled for 15th place, eight seconds behind Despres. Alfie Fox, the runnerup from last year’s Rally, ended up 10th.

The times set during this prologue don’t have any bearing on the overall classification, but the position are taken into account when the riders start today’s stage as the form the basis of the starting order.

Paul Carruthers | Editor

Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America's Daily Motorcycle News Source.