Dakar - Bikes: Verhoeven pounces as Despres and Faria consolidate

Frans Verhoeven won stage 12 of the Dakar Rally from Fiambala to Copiapo as Cyril Despres and Ruben Faria consolidated.

Verhoeven claimed his fourth stage win on the Dakar Rally - and his first since 2011 - with a solid performance in the special stage.

But it was race leader Despres and team-mate Faria who were notable for their work to ensure that Chaleco Lopez could not nip up a place in the general classifications.

Faria ended up second on the stage, one minute 38 seconds behind the Dutchman, while Despres retained a 5:39 advantage in the general standings over Faria, who pulled to 8:01 clear of Lopez.

"It was also important for me today to try and help Ruben," said Despres after the stage. "He's been helping me for the Dakar 2010, 2011, 2012 and also 2013, so today I decided to help him to try and stay in second place overall. I think he did well and I'm happy for us."

Stage 12 results

1 Frans Verhoeven (NED) 3:49:15

2 Ruben Faria (POR) 3:50:53 +01:38

3 Joan Barreda Bort (ESP) 3:52:16 +03:01

4 Alain Duclos (FRA) 3:52:32 +03:17

5 Hélder Rodrigues (POR) 3:52:50 +03:35

6 Kuba Przygonski (POL) 3:53:22 +04:07

7 Francisco Lopez Contardo (CHI) 3:54:02 +04:47

8 Gerard Farres (ESP) 3:54:17 +05:02

9 Javier Pizzolito (ARG) 3:54:37 +05:22

10 Olivier Pain (FRA) 3:54:47 +05:32

Overall standings

1 Cyril Despres 37:46:59

2 Ruben Faria + 5:39

3 Francisco Lopez Contardo + 13:40

4 Ivan Jakes + 20:16

5 Alessandro Botturi + 34:52

6 Juan Pedrero Garcia + 41:14

7 Olivier Pain + 1:03:29

8 Frans Verhoeven + 1:05:22

9 Hélder Rodrigues + 1:10:44

10 Javier Pizzolito + 1:19:20