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VALPARAISO – The Dakar Rally 2014 is over. Many labeled this edition as the toughest to date in South America. The Riwald Dakar Team showed the speed of their HRX Ford with some impressive top 10 results, but also struggled with bad luck. When Bernhard ten Brinke crossed the finish line on Saturday afternoon happiness and satisfaction was nevertheless the biggest emotion.

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Yamaha Factory Racing’s Cyril Despres enjoyed another day battling at the front of the lead group of riders today on stage 11 of the 2014 Dakar Rally. The exhausting ride covered 605km of timed special stage featuring every kind of terrain, from dunes to rios. The five-time Dakar winner opened the piste for 400km before dropping slightly to finish just 2mins 31secs behind Marc Coma in first, though Dakar organizers assessed a 15-minute penalty for Coma that gave Despres the eventual win.

Teammate Olivier Pain was also on form, completing the 11th special stage in third position behind Despres, 5mins 28secs from the front. The result moves the Frenchman closer to a possible Dakar podium. Sitting in fourth in the overall standings he is now just 13mins 44secs from third.

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According to the Toyo Tires Dakar blog, BJ Baldwin is not continuing in the 2014 Dakar after a hole was found in his fuel cell before starting the 10th stage. Here’s what the Toyo blog said: BJ made the decision to not start this morning after a massive hole was discovered in the fuel cell end of day yesterday.  Of course it was a tough decision to not continue but also an easy one when he considered the risks and his family.

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The 2014 Dakar Rally entered stage 7 after the halfway break. Some racers continued to pad their lead, while others struggled with the long 500 km route that looped from Salta back into Salta.

Below is a great recap video from Dakar of the action at Stage 7.

Coma-KTM-Stage-3-Dakar-1-8-14Red Bull KTM Factory Racing riders faced a physically and tactically tough day on Tuesday for Stage 3 of the 2014 Dakar Rally, which saw the team’s most experienced rider, Marc Coma home in third and maintaining third place in the overall standings.

Coma came in behind Stage winner Joan Barreda and old rival Cyril Despres and registered 6 minutes 56 behind the leader. He is currently 13 minutes 04 off Barreda overall lead time.

Next fastest KTM rider on Tuesday was Frenchman David Casteu at number five, followed by Coma’s teammate Chaleco Lopez at sixth. Stefan Svitko of Slovakia and KTM supported rider Kuba Przygonski of Poland finished eighth and ninth to give KTM five of the top 10 places.