15 Jan 2012

Despres set to win Dakar rally after rival gets lost

8:44 am on 15 January 2012

Portugal's Helder Rodrigues, riding a Yamaha, has won the penultimate stage of the Dakar Rally ahead of France's Cyril Despres, who was virtually handed overall victory when rival Marc Coma got lost.

Coma's navigational error in the dunes meant he finished over 13 minutes behind Rodrigues and over 12 minutes behind three-time champion and KTM team mate Despres.

Barring an accident, Despres will be assured of the 2012 motorcycling title tomorrow when he starts the final stage in Lima with a lead of more than 11 minutes over Coma, who had been the overnight leader.