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Today's Message
Message from Stéphane Peterhansel, winner of the 2007 Dakar Rally
21 January 2007
REWRITING THE HISTORY BOOKS...  

STÉPHANE PETERHANSEL
 
"I was very nervous on the last big African special stage yesterday and I just drove very carefully on the beach this morning. Last year I remember losing 20 minutes on that special stage into Dakar and it was on the back of my mind. I only had a small lead over Luc and it is so easy to take the wrong track and then the seconds will tick away.

"When I arrived in Dakar last night I was so relieved. I was nervous yesterday and then, we lost our way for a few moments, I was even more nervous. On the beach this morning, it was not necessary to do a show for the crowd and the television. Taking the overall victory on the Dakar is the important thing. It is the best feeling.

"I did not win a special stage on the event. But that was not important. When I won my first motorcycle race in Tunisia, I did not win a special stage, so in my head it was never a problem not to win a special stage on this Dakar. Our new MPR13 is very good and very fast, but I am sure that we can make even more improvements this year before we come back to try and win the Dakar again in 2008.

"Now I am beginning to break my own Dakar records. I won the race six times on a motorcycle and I wanted to join Hubert Auriol and become only the second rider ever to win the Dakar in a car.

"I achieved that goal in 2004, after coming very close to winning in Sharm El Sheikh in 2003, and then I went one better and won again in 2005. It was not meant to be last year, but to win the Dakar in a car for the third time is extra special. Now I have nine Dakar wins, it seems to make obvious sense to go for a 10th win in 2008...!"


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