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October 31, 2014

Motor rally

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

11-time winner Frenchman Peterhansel again leads Dakar

SAN RAFAEL, Mendoza — Eleven-time winner Stephane Peterhansel of France took the overall lead in the car division of the Dakar Rally yesterday, winning the second stage of the grueling race.

Peterhansel finished 46 seconds ahead of Spain’s Carlos Sainz and 5:34 in front of Giniel De Villiers of South Africa. Peterhansel leads the overall car standings by 28 seconds ahead of Sainz and has a 4:10 advantage over Nasser Al-Attiyah of Qatar. Peterhansel won the race last year, his fifth victory in the car division to go with six in bikes.

Sam Sunderland of Britain won the bikes stage, with Francisco López of Chile 39 seconds behind. Joan Barreda Bort of Spain was two minutes back in third. Barreda Bort held the overall lead, 2:03 in front of López and 2:33 ahead of Sunderland.

It has not taken long for order to be re-established in the quad category. On Sunday, Marcos Patronelli was beaten by Ignacio Casale, a serious challenger for the title. However, the title holder soon took control of the race. The Argentine flag-bearer arrived in San Luis with an extra line on his roll of honour: it was the 15th special stage victory on the Dakar for the Yamaha rider, who boasts a lead of 3:50 over his nearest rival, Lucas Bonetto.

The second stage is regarded as one of the fastest in the two-week rally, which ends on January 18 in Valparaiso, Chile.

Today’s third stage runs north from San Rafael to San Juan in Argentina. The rally will cross into Bolivia on Sunday and Monday before moving into Chile where it heads south toward the finish.

This is the sixth consecutive year the race has been run in South America, and the first time Bolivia has been on the route.

AP, Dakar website

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