Roma Wins The Dakar Rally

Paul Carruthers | January 18, 2004

Repsol KTM’s Nani Roma cruised to the finish of today’s final stage of the Dakar Rally in 17th place, becoming the first Spaniard in the 26-year-history of the race to earn the overall victory.

Roma ended up 12 minutes and 38 seconds ahead of Gauloises KTM’s Richard Sainct in the overall standings, with Sainct coming home 47th in today’s final stage. Sainct suffered an arm injury early in the rally, but fought on to make this year’s even two-man battle. Third place overall went to today’s stage winner, Gauloises KTM’s Cyril Despres, the Frenchman winning three stages over the course of the rally to prove that he will be one of the main contenders in future years.

Alfie Cox and top privateer Pal-Andes Ullevalseter rounded out the top five overall.

Red Bull KTM’s Larry Roeseler saved his best for last, the Californian finishing fifth in today’s final stage. Still, Roeseler couldn’t improve his overall standings and he ended up 12th overall in what was his first-ever Dakar Rally. Roeseler ended up six hours, seven minutes and 58 seconds behind Roma when all was said and done. Roeseler’s teammate Paul Krause finished 23rd today and 18th overall.

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.