Cyril Despres has taken his first stage win on the 2009 Rally Dakar as the motorcyclists completed a shortened day of running between San Rafael and Mendoza.

With the rutted course and a flooded river forcing organisers to reduce the stage down to a 178km 'sprint', Despres shrugged off the tyre problems that have left him playing catch-up for most of the rally to win by a comfortable two minutes.

Unfortunately for him, rival and rally leader Marc Coma was second fastest meaning he remains an hour and a half adrift from the front of the pack.

Coma, meanwhile, extended his lead over yesterday's stage winner Jonah Street, the American managing only the 11th best time to lose ground by another 13 minutes.

Nonetheless, he remains ahead of David Fretigne by seven minutes, while Jordi Viladoms is back up to fourth at the expense of Pal anders Ullevalseter. Helder Rodrigues remains sixth, while Despres is up to seventh.

Argentina-Chile Dakar 2009 - Positions on SS6:

1. Cyril Despres KTM 2hrs 03m 20s
2. Marc Coma KTM +0hrs 02m 09s
3. Jordi Viladoms KTM +0hrs 05m 15s
4. Francisco Lopez KTM +0hrs 09m 41s
5. David Fretigne Yamaha +0hrs 10m 30s
6. David Casteu KTM +0hrs 11m 14s

Argentina-Chile Dakar 2009 - Positions on SS6:

1. Marc Coma KTM 23hrs 43m 41s
2. Jonah Street KTM +0hrs 40m 29s
3. Davide Fretigne Yamaha +0hrs 47m 30s
4. Jordi Viladoms KTM +1hrs 09m 48s
5. Pal anders Ullevalseter KTM +1hrs 13m 13s
6. Helder Rodrigues KTM +1hrs 27m 03s