Endurance

Cyril Despres wins inaugural Red Bull Los Andes extreme

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In what is likely to be his last competitive outing before the 2010 Dakar, Cyril Despres (Red Bull KTM) took victory on the inaugural Red Bull Los Andes extreme enduro held in the Andes Mountains just outside the capital Santiago. National hero Francisco ‰Û÷Chaleco' Lopez was third.

"I think the Red Bull Los Andes is destined to be one of the world's great extreme enduros. It has all the ingredients - incredible terrain, great media coverage and a very enthusiastic public.

After the initial madness of the start I found myself in about 7th position and used the first lap almost as a sighting lap, noting where I could overtake later on. Then on the second lap (of the two lap race) I started to move to the front, taking the lead on an enormous climb up to one of the Red Bull arches. In the end I finished the course in 1 hour 36 minutes, 4 minutes ahead of the second placed man, Nicolas Urrutia who finished just 30 seconds or so ahead of Chaleco (Lopez). The prize was a replica of Chaleco's bike which, along with my race clothing, I donate to the Wings for Life charity. Apparently everything is already up for auction on their site.

Apart from the win and the incredible Chilean hospitality, the thing that really delighted me was how good I felt on the bike. The race was very physical and run at an altitude of between 2000 and 2800 metres and it proved to me that I am bang on target with by pre-Dakar training."

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