Sainct Wins Stage, Despres Leads

Paul Carruthers | January 7, 2004

Gauloises KTM’s Richard Sainct won today’s 440-mile stage in the Dakar Rally, the Frenchman topping the KTMs of Jean Brucy and Cyril Despres with Alfie Cox and Juan Roma rounding out the top five in the ultra-long stage.

The overall leader coming into today’s stage, Isidre Esteve, suffered through a miserable day that basically ruined his rally. Esteve crashed early in the day and then suffered a mechanical failure that put him out of the stage.

Esteve’s misfortune gives Despres the overall lead over Roma by three minutes and three seconds, with Sainct now third – three minutes and 21 seconds behind.

Red Bull KTM’s Scot Harden finished today’s stage in 18th place and he sits in 14th overall. Harden’s teammates Larry Roeseler and Paul Krause ended up 19th and 26th, respectively, today and are ranked 20th and 24th in the overall standings.

Giovanni Sala, meanwhile, crashed out of yesterday’s stage six and suffered broken ribs. He didn’t start today’s stage and has officially withdrawn from the event

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.