Cyril Despres was 13 when he acquired his first 80 cc bike. He rode trials for 10 years then started to get interested in rallies. Cyril rode his first Dakar rally in 2000 as a privateer was 16th overall and second in his category. He then rode in the Tunisia Rally in the same year and finished third. He moved up to 12th in the 2001 Dakar and took his first stage victory. In 2003, he won three specials, finished second and was Rally World Champion the same year. In January 2005, he scored his first outright victory in the Dakar on a factory KTM, an occasion that he describes as unforgettable.
Cyril took his second Dakar victory in 2007. He won his second Rally-Raid World Championship in 2009 and went on to win his third Dakar in 2010. Riding the new KTM 450 Rally for the first time, Cyril took victory in the Rally of Morocco in October and after a memorable battle of attrition with fellow KTM factory rider Marc Coma in the Dakar 2011 he finished an incredibly close second to the Spanish rider after 9500 grueling kilometers traversing Argentina and Chile.
In January 2012 Despres fought a heroic two-way battle with teammate Marc Coma to take his fourth Dakar title and to seal victory for KTM in its eleventh consecutive win of the world's toughest rally.
In January 2013 Despres was again on the top of the Dakar Rally podium to secure his fifth title and give KTM it's twelfth consecutive title after a ride that took competitors on a north south trajectory from Lima, Peru to Santiago, Chile over more than 8000 km.www.cyrildespres.com Cyril's facebook