Frenchman Cyril Despres and his KTM claimed the timed special of Castellon in today's third stage of the Dakar Rally, a stage that took the competitors from Castellon to Valencia. On the beach of playa del Pinar, the Frenchman clocked a time of 6 minutes, 20 seconds on the 8km circuit.
After winning the prologue in Marseille on Wednesday, today's win was Despres' first real win of the 2003 rally. He beat KTM-mounted Dutchman Eric Verhoef by just two seconds. Third place went to local hero Marc Coma of Spain.
In the overall standings, KTM's Richard Sainct, the winner yesterday, finished sixth today to maintain his lead with a 10 second advantage over Alfie Cox. He has 18 seconds on Despres. Italy’s Fabrizio Meoni, last year's winner, finished 48 seconds off the pace in 15th position today.