- Dakar 2014 – Stage 8
- Salta/Uyuni > Calama
- Connection 24 km
- Special stage 462 km
- Total 486 km
A small piece of history was written on the 8th stage of the 2014 Dakar, with Cyril Despres (Yamaha Factory Racing) taking his first Dakar special win aboard his YZF 450 Rally, arriving at the bivouac in Calama 2’09 ahead of Barreda and 2’15 in front of Marc Coma. Cyril’s support rider Michael Metge also had a good day finishing in 6th place to move up to 14th overall.
“I have to be honest and admit that I didn’t set out this morning to win the special, it was more a by-product of my determination to move up the overall rankings. I won’t deny though that I’m delighted with the result, both for myself and Yamaha.
Yesterday wasn’t easy, with an early start on the bivouac and rain on the liaison. Then at altitude I wasn’t 100%, with the thin air making it hard work on the bike. When we finally got to the bivouac in Bolivia myself and Mika took a long time to clean up the bikes and make sure they were up today’s special, finishing at around ten in the evening. Then this morning we had more rain at the liaison, though fortunately the special was mainly dry. Tomorrow should be an interesting day riding to Iquique and there could be quite a lot of navigation. It won’t be easy opening the piste but I will continue to push.”
“A couple of tough days. I managed to give Cyril a good back tyre yesterday in the marathon bivouac but in preserving the rear I wore out the front more than I wanted to. Apart from that, not too many problems. I didn’t suffer too much with the altitude, but my ears hurt like hell coming down! Then on the liaison today into the bivouac there was a really strong wind and we had to ride at an angle so as not to get blown over. Equally impressive were the number of people who came out to welcome us in Bolivia. Excuse the pun – but I was blown away!”
Alexandre Kowalski, Team Manager
“For us Cyril’s stage 8 victory is highly symbolic, coming as it does almost exactly a year after the tragic death of Yamaha Motor France’s founder, Jean-Claude Olivier. A Dakar podium finisher himself, ‘JCO’ was largely responsible for instilling the culture of rally-raid into the company, a tradition that has been perpetuated with enthusiasm by his successor Eric de Seynes.”