Giniel second as Nasser falls out
GINIEL'S MOVING UP: Toyota's Giniel de Villiers of South Africa meets some of the locals during Stage 9 of the 2013 Dakar rally between Tucuman and Cordoba, Argentina, on January 14. He finished the day second overall behind Stephane Peterhans
CORDOBA, Argentina - France's defending Dakar champion Stephane Peterhansel took a huge step towards his 11th win on Monday as his main rival Nasser al-Attiyah struggled during Stage 9, the longest of the race.
South African Giniel de Villiers, in a South African-built Toyota Hilux, is now running second though 50 minutes behind.
Spaniard Nani Roma won the stage - his second of this year's race and 13th of his career - leading in a Mini 1-2 with 47-year-old Peterhansel - six times champion on a motorbike and four times in a car - second and Argentinian Orlando Terranova third in a BMW.
STAGE FAVOUR BUGGIES
Al-Attiyah, 2011 winner, had to stop several times during the stage in his Red Bull Buggy, including once only four kilometres from the finish, to see his dreams of a second Dakar title dashed.
2013 Dakar: Stage 9 image gallery
Watch Stage 9 video
Peterhansel said: "We could have gained even more time but we would have had to take risks. It's (the title) getting closer,but there are still a few long stages left which favour the buggies.
"We need to take time whenever we can, because we can always make mistakes in Fiambala or on the dunes of Copiapo."
Earlier, defending motorcycle champion Cyril Despres stormed back into contention for the 2013 title as the Frenchman won his first stage of this year's renewal.
The now 38-year-old KTM star started the day more than 24 minutes off the pace but finished the stage second overall as he came in 4min03 ahead of Spanish rider Joan Barreda (Husqvarna).
Despres put himself firmly into the mix for retaining the title as the four-times champion trails team mate Portugal's Ruben Faria by 5min23 but admitted it had been about time he made an impression.
"I knew 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 but I had to bang my fist on the table to say: ‘Hey, I'm here!’.
"Ruben and I are racing well for the team; he's in good shape and that's the most important thing right now."
CASTEU COWS OUT
While Despres entered the overall picture two of his compatriots fell away completely on the race's longest stage, 852km from Tucuman, 593km of it timed.
David Casteu, who led overnight going into the stage, hit a cow with his Yamaha during the timed section which resulted in him dislocating a shoulder and another stop on the stage saw him slip from pole position to not having a hope of winning the title.
His compatriot Olivier Pain also had a day to forget as he came off his machine several times and lost about 32 minutes – and all sight of overall victory.
Wheels24 will be following the 'Dakar' rally throughout the race. Keep up with things on our Dakar Rally section.
Dakar Rally standings after Monday's Stage 9 from Tucuman to Cordoba
1 Nani Roma (ESP/Mini) 5hr36min28
2 Stephane Peterhansel (FRA/Mini) +4min11
3 Orlando Terranova (ARG/BMW) +6min54
4 Robby Gordon (USA/Hummer) +8min37
5 Giniel De Villiers (RSA/Toyota) +9min39
6 Carlos Sousa (POR/Great Wall) +10min23
7 Leonid Novitskiy (RUS/Mini) +11min20
8 Geoff Olholm (AUS/Toyota) +20min23
9 Matthias Kahle (GER/Sam-Mercedes) +26min44
10 Lucio Alvarez (ARG/Toyota) +27min37
1 Stephane Peterhansel (FRA/Mini) 24hr11min43
2 Giniel De Villiers (RSA/Toyota) +49min31
3 Leonid Novitskiy (RUS/Mini) +56min03
4 Nani Roma (ESP/Mini) +1hr 34min16
5 Orlando Terranova (ARG/BMW) +2hr01min08
6 Carlos Sousa (POR/Great Wall) +2hr13min41
7 Ronan Chabot (FRA/SMG) +2hr35min22
8 Bernard Errandonea (AND/SMG) +2hr35min40
9 Pascal Thomasse (FRA/Buggy) +3hr03min32
10 Boris Garafulic (CHI/Mini) +3hr23min30
1 Cyril Despres (FRA/KTM) 5hr41min36sec
2 Joan Barreda Bort (ESP/Husqvarna) +4min 03
3 Alessandro Botturi (ITA/Husqvarna) +5min14
4 Ruben Faria (POR/KTM) +7min47
5 Helder Rodrigues (POR/Honda) +8min47
6 Ivan Jakes (SVK/KTM) +9min37
7 Paulo Goncalves (POR/Husqvarna) +11min14
8 Juan Pedrero Garcia (ESP/KTM) +12min14
9 Gerard Farres Guell (ESP/Honda) +14min12
10 Lopez Contardo (CHI/KTM) +16min06
1 Ruben Faria (POR/KTM) 25hr 57min 12
2 Cyril Despres (FRA/KTM) +5min 23
3 Lopez Contardo (CHI/KTM) +9min03
4 Ivan Jakes (SVK/KTM) +16min56
5 Alessandro Botturi (ITA/Husqvarna) +22min58
6 Olivier Pain (FRA/Yamaha) +28min46
7 Helder Rodrigues (POR/Honda) +31min23
8 Stefan Svitko (SVK/KTM) +32min50
9 Jakub Przygonski (POL/KTM) +33min13
10 Jeremias Israel Esquerre (CHI/Honda) +38min30
Auto results as soon as we have them.