Dakar 2005: Cyril Despres Arrives in Dakar with a Strong Lead and One Special RemainingHe had no other choice today. Cyril Despres had to attack in order to ward off a possible attack from Marc Coma, his strongest opponent for an overall victory. The Frenchman focused with all his strength and was successful. Cyril Despres claimed his second stage win; maybe the most important one in his career. He increased his overall lead on the Spaniard Marc Coma by more than six minutes. This time margin should be sufficient to claim the overall victory and stand on the podium at Lac Rose. Cyril’s emotions were torn in different directions. “I am certainly glad to be so close to victory,” stated Despres, “I can conquer the leadership relying on my own strength. Tomorrow I will have to focus one last time so that nothing unexpected will happen. It should actually be a pleasure to race tomorrow. But on the other hand I’m devastated because I have lost a dear friend. My conscience tells me that I have done a great job and that I’ll be winning thanks to all my hard work last year. But my heart is sad.” Cyril Despres has an almost 9 minute lead on Marc Coma, and 12 minutes on third place Alfie Cox.Marc Coma, the young Spaniard, ranked in 8th place today. He is by no means sad that he cannot compete with Cyril now. “If someone had told me in Barcelona that I’d arrive in second place, I would have said, `You’re crazy!’ I am very satisfied.”Each of the competitors, who have reached Dakar today, is desperately looking forward for one simple thing: a shower. The rally followers have abandoned their tents; they all sleep in hotels. Tomorrow they will start on the last special, which stretches for 31 km. As any other year the route leads around Lac Rose, the lake with the red tint to it a bit outside of Dakar. It is an exhibition for the audience, team members, friends and families who have followed to Dakar. The start is already a spectacle. The motorbike riders will line up by 20. Everyone will need to highly focus because a crash in result of the mass-start could be fatal for the leader. Once again the competitors will have to conquer dunes.Everyone who crosses the finish line at Lac Rose is a hero. It doesn’t matter where he ranks.