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Motorsport | Dakar Rally

Giniel de Villiers © Reuters

De Villiers still second in closing stages

Giniel de Villiers clung to second spot overall in the Dakar Rally, with three days to go, after taking fifth place in a rain-shortened 11th stage in Argentina on Wednesday.

The race was stopped after 53 kilometres, due to flash floods, and while De Villiers made up a few seconds on overall leader Stephane Peterhansel, who was just behind him, he remained nearly 52 minutes behind the defending champion.

The South African, however, extended his advantage to more than 34 minutes over third-placed Russian Leonid Novitskiy.

De Villiers reached the 110 km point, holding the stage lead, but officials took the result from positions at a previous waypoint.

“It's a pity what happened today, because we were first on the road. It was not a lucky break for us,” De Villiers said.

In the bikes division, Riaan van Niekerk finished the stage in 19th place, moving up one position to 13th in the standings, while Darryl Curtis again struggled home, in 71st, and dropped three more places to 21st overall.

Brett Cummings was 48th for the stage, and lifted himself another position up the standings to 55th.

Sarel van Biljon, who was third at the halfway stage of the race, was 16th for the stage as he soldiered on in the quads division, having fallen back significantly after Sunday's rest day, and was lying 21st in his category.


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