Dakar Rally: Ryan Gordon wins 13th stage as Stephane Peterhansel maintains lead
Last Updated: 19/01/13 11:54am
Stephane Peterhansel: Closing in on 11th Dakar title
American Robby Gordon won the 13th stage of the Dakar Rally on Friday, while Frenchman Stephane Peterhansel kept his commanding lead in the overall standings with one day to go.
Gordon finished 22 seconds ahead of Guerlain Chicherit of France in the cars category, while Peterhansel finished nearly 14 minutes off the pace.
Peterhansel remains all-but certain to win his 11th Dakar title and will take a 44-minute, 38-second lead over South Africa's Giniel de Villieres into the final stage towards Santiago.
"We didn't take any risks at all and we only lost a few minutes, but we managed to protect our lead this way," Peterhansel said. "There were some impressive dunes, but rather than risking getting stuck on them, we preferred to go either right or left around them and then get back on track afterwards."
In the bikes, Cyril Despres all-but clinched a fifth Dakar Rally title after opening up an eight minute, 15 second lead in the penultimate stage.
The 38-year-old, the champion in 2005, 2007, 2010 and 2012, finished second on Friday, five minutes, 25 seconds behind Chile's Francisco Lopez.
But with KTM team-mate, and overnight title rival, Ruben Faria slipping into third in the standings, Despres will go into Saturday's final dash to Santiago with a huge lead over Lopez.
For Honda rider Lopez, it was a fourth stage win on the 2013 race and 10th of his career.