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Despres, Roma say Dakar victory chances not over

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Despres, Roma say Dakar victory chances not over
By:
Jan 11, 2017, 10:49 PM

Peugeot's Cyril Despres and Toyota's Nani Roma reckon they can still take part in the Dakar 2017 victory fight, despite losing the opportunity to make up ground in the highly-anticipated “Super Belen” stage.

#307 Peugeot Sport Peugeot 3008 DKR : Cyril Despres, David Castera
#307 Peugeot Sport Peugeot 3008 DKR : Cyril Despres, David Castera
#305 Overdrive Racing Toyota: Nani Roma, Alex Haro
#305 Overdrive Racing Toyota: Nani Roma, Alex Haro
#307 Peugeot Sport Peugeot 3008 DKR: Cyril Despres, David Castera
Jean-Marc Fortin and Nani Roma, Overdrive Racing
#305 Overdrive Racing Toyota: Nani Roma, Alex Haro

Wednesday's “Super Belen” from Salta to Chilecito was to feature 406 timed kilometres, with most of the route off-road and requiring difficult navigation.

But as the stage was cancelled due to logistical issues created by a rockslide on the road to Salta, Despres and Roma lost a major chance to catch up with rally leaders Sebastien Loeb and Stephane Peterhansel.

Despite that, both men insist they remain in with a chance.

Roma, who lost precious time on Tuesday to a technical issue and now sits 24 minutes off rally Loeb, admitted the Super Belen was a good opportunity, but insisted “the race is not finished”.

“Sure, I believe [there is a chance] - if not, I don't continue. I try to do my best every day, some days it works well, some days not, but we try,” the Spaniard told Motorsport.com.

"In these conditions, in the down [altitude] we are better than these last days - but we need to accept that the conditions are really tough, really hard and we accept [the stage cancellation].

“The race is not finished, you know. The race continues tough, continues hard. The next day, tomorrow, it's a hard day.”

Despres, who is 17 minutes behind Loeb, said: “We arrive to complicated places, we're a little bit more in the desert now – and there's so many places, so many holes and so many riverbeds, some dunes, some vegetation.

“There's a lot of places to get some time but also to lose time. It's not over.”

Asked whether he'd race cautious over the remaining days to ensure a podium regardless of his victory chances, Despres said: “I will keep in the same rhythm because there is still Nani Roma not far from me - I will keep going in a good rhythm, this is what I have to do.”

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About this article

Series Dakar
Event Dakar
Drivers Cyril Despres , Nani Roma
Author Valentin Khorounzhiy