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Motorsport | Dakar Rally

Stephane Peterhansel © Reuters

Peterhansel takes commanding lead

Ten-time Dakar Rally champion Stephane Peterhansel took a commanding lead in the car category after finishing second in Monday's ninth stage.

Peterhansel was beaten by Spain's Joan Roma in the stage race, but increased his overall lead to 49 minutes, 31 seconds over Giniel Devilliers of South Africa.

Nasser Al-Attiyah, who trailed Peterhansel's Mini by only 3:14 after eight stages, suffered several mechanical breakdowns - including one just a few kilometres (miles) from the finish - that took him out of contention.

In motorbikes, Ruben Faria of Portugal finished fourth on the stage but took the overall lead, 5:23 ahead of defending champion and KTM teammate Cyril Despres of France.

Despres won the stage, 4:03 ahead of Joan Barreda Bort of Spain and 5:14 in front of Alessandro Botturi of Italy. Faria finished fourth, 7:47 behind.

"I knew that it would be physically demanding, that I'd have to give it my all," Despres said. "I've got blisters on my feet, and my hands are sore. ... Ruben (Faria) and I are racing well for the team. He's in good shape and that's the most important thing right now."

David Casteu of France, the motorbike leader after eight stages, slipped out of contention with mechanical problems and a fall in which he injured his right shoulder. He finished more than two hours behind.

Sunday was a rest day with the rally ending next Sunday in Santiago, Chile.

Most of Saturday's eighth stage was cancelled by torrential rain.

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Cars - Stage

1. Nani Roma (SPA/Mini) 5:36:28
2. Stephane Peterhansel (FRA/Mini) at 4:11
3. Orlando Terranova (ARG/BMW) 6:54
4. Robby Gordon (USA/Hummer) 8:37
5. Giniel De Villiers (RSA/Toyota) 9:39
6. Carlos Sousa (POR/Great Wall) 10:23
7. Leonid Novitskiy (RUS/Mini) 11:20
8. Geoffrey Olholm (AUS/Toyota) 20:23
9. Matthias Kahle (GER/Sam-Mercedes) 26:44
10. Lucio Alvarez (ARG/Toyota) 27:37

Cars - Overall

1. Stephane Peterhansel (FRA/Mini) 24:11:43
2. Giniel De Villiers (RSA/Toyota) at 49:31
3. Leonid Novitskiy (RUS/Mini) 56:03
4. Nani Roma (SPA/Mini) 1:34:16
5. Orlando Terranova (ARG/BMW) 2:01:08
6. Carlos Sousa (POR/Great Wall) 2:13:41
7. Guerlain Chicherit (FRA/SMG) 2:33:52
8. Ronan Chabot (FRA/SMG) 2:35:22
9. Bernard Errandonea (AND/SMG) 2:35:40
10. Pascal Thomasse (FRA/Buggy Md Rallye) 3:03:32

Bikes - Stage

1. Cyril Despres (FRA/KTM) 5hr 41min 36sec,
2. Joan Barreda Bort (ESP/Husqvarna) at 4min 03sec,
3. Alessandro Botturi (ITA/Husqvarna) 5:14,
4. Ruben Faria (POR/KTM) 7:47,
5. Helder Rodrigues (POR/Honda) 8:47,
6. Ivan Jakes (SVK/KTM) 9:37,
7. Paulo Goncalves (POR/Husqvarna) 11:14,
8. Juan Pedrero Garcia (ESP/KTM) 12:14,
9. Gerard Farres Guell (ESP/Honda) 14:12,
10. Lopez Contardo (CHI/KTM) 16:06.

Bikes - Overall

1. Ruben Faria (POR/KTM) 25hr 57min 12sec,
2. Cyril Despres (FRA/KTM) at 5min 23sec,
3. Lopez Contardo (CHI/KTM) 9:03,
4. Ivan Jakes (SVK/KTM) 16:56,
5. Alessandro Botturi (ITA/Husqvarna) 22:58,
6. Olivier Pain (FRA/Yamaha) 28:46,
7. Helder Rodrigues (POR/Honda) 31:23,
8. Stefan Svitko (SVK/KTM) 32:50,
9. Jakub Przygonski (POL/KTM) 33:13,
10. Jeremias Israel Esquerre (CHI/Honda) 38:30.


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