Today's Message
Message from Stéphane Peterhansel, winner of the 2007 Dakar Rally
21 January 2007

"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...!"