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Local boy makes good in Dakar

2013-01-16 08:07

HAPPY HOME CROWD: Orlando Terranova is the first Argentinian to win a stage of the Dakar rally.

LA RIOJA, Argentina - Orlando Terranova delighted his home crowd on by becoming the first Argentinian driver to win a stage of the Dakar rally.

The 33-year-old BMW driver - in his seventh Dakar - came home on Tuesday (Jan 15) 2min07 ahead of the previous day's stage winner Nani Roma (Mini). The latter's team mate and defending champion Stephane Peterhansel was third, 12sec further back.

'HAVING A GOOD RACE'

Terranova was delighted by his victory - it had been a really smooth drive.

"We took the stage very easily, to not make a mistake, because it was very narrow and it was possible to burst a tyre or break some piece of the car. We want to continue like we have done. We are having a good race without mistakes."

Peterhansel, seeking his 11th win after six on a motorcycle and four on four wheels, extended his overall lead to 52min38sec over South African Giniel de Villiers.

The 47-year-old Frenchman's chances of winning the title again grew immeasurably when his closest rival, Qatar's 2011 champion Nasser al-Attiyah, had to pull out of the race with a broken water pump on Monday.

Peterhansel admitted he had changed his strategy now that al-Attiyah had been forced out and conceded that it did not make for a great spectacle.

Peterhansel said: "For the race, for the show, it's no good. For the suspense, it's not really good, but for me it's not so bad and it's more comfortable.

"I can manage the car as well. I can manage, for example, the stage tomorrow and the stage at Copiapo which will be really complicated in the dunes. So if I have more time I'll be able to manage the race, to wait to see the good places to cross the dunes, so it's better for me."

MAN IN FORM

Defending champion Cyril Despres took the overall 2013 Dakar lead on Tuesday after Stage 10, a 636km ride that included a 357km timed section from Cordoba to La Rioja.

The 38-year-old KTM rider had made his charge on Monday when, having been over 24 minutes off the pace, he stormed to his first stage victory of this year's edition and on Tuesday he showed he was the man in form in finishing second in the stage.

Spaniard Joan Barreda Bort took the stage honours on his Husqvarna bike, finishing 1min15sec ahead of Despres.

Despres, seeking his fifth Dakar title, leads overnight leader and team mate Ruben Faria by 1min37sec in the overall standings in the race which finishes on Sunday.

Despres said he was in good form and that his tactics of not racing all out throughout the Rally was paying off as it entered its decisive stages.

"Picking up seconds in the general standings is not the most important thing," he said.

"What matters is making statements, making a difference, gaining in confidence and letting the racing do the talking. As a result, the general standings reflect that on paper in the evening."

Wheels24 will be following the 'Dakar' rally throughout the race. Keep up with things on our Dakar Rally section.


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