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Dakar Rally: Al-Attiyah cruises to Stage 13 victory

2018-01-20 01:41

Image: AP

Argentina - Veteran Carlos Sainz closed in on a second Dakar Rally title on Friday, as the Peugeot driver finished sixth behind penultimate stage winner Toyota's Nasser Al-Attiyah.

Al-Attiyah cruised to his third win of the race in the 13th stage by 11 minutes and 16 seconds from Lucio Alvarez, as Sainz consolidated his overall lead.

Unfortunately for Toyota, Bernhard Ten Brinke was forced to drop out of the Dakar Rally due to mechanical problems.

Second title in sight for Sainz

The 55-year-old, the father of Renault Formula 1 driver Carlos Sainz Jnr, just needs a safe drive on the final day around Cordoba in Argentina to secure a second Dakar title. 

If Sainz is victorious in 2018, it will be his first title victory since 2010, having failed to finish for the last five years in a row.

Image: AP

His task was made easier by problems for team mate Stephane Peterhansel on Friday, as the reigning champion hit a tree near the start and was stranded for 40 minutes.

Peterhansel, a 13-time winner across the cars and bikes categories, all but surrendered a podium spot despite starting the day in second place.

Bikes

Matthias Walkner will take a 20-minute lead into the final day of the bikes race, after finishing fourth behind stage 13 winner Toby Price.

Price, who won the Dakar in 2016 but didn't complete the rally last year, held off home favourite Kevin Benavides to win from San Juan to Cordoba.

KTM rider Walkner finished over 11 minutes behind Price on the day, but will take a lead of over 20 minutes into Saturday's final 284km ride around Cordoba as he looks for a maiden Dakar title after coming second 12 months ago.

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