Sainz storms to Dakar Rally lead

Annette Crawford
January 14, 2018

Peterhansel started out the seventh stage of the Dakar Rally in a confident fashion in Bolivia and looked on course for a possible victory but suffered a standstill 129km into the race.

After the race's only rest day, the field will tackle the seventh stage on Saturday between La Paz and Uyuni, which includes a 302km liaison and a 425km special. A change in software was required for the riders as the landscape changed from sandy dunes to lot of off-piste, river beds and harder ground and the stages become longer and faster from here on.

Santosh also had a good day, finishing Saturday's stage at 39th position and an overall ranking of 40 at the end of stage 7 with a timing of 28 hours, nine minutes and 41 seconds.

De Villiers finished fourth on Thursday's sixth stage, as he continued to play a key role for the Toyota Gazoo Racing SA team, covering the 313km timed section less than six minutes off the pace of Spaniard Carlos Sainz who won the stage for the powerful Peugeot outfit.

Spain's Joan Barreda, riding a Honda, claimed his third stage win on this year's Dakar as France's Adrien van Beveren, on a Yamaha, reclaimed the overall motorcycle lead.

As a result, Sainz now holds a huge advantage over nearest challenger Toyota's Nasser Al-Attiyah who has been promoted into second place but trails the leader by 1hr 11m29s.

With van Beveren taking second place on the gruelling seventh stage he has reclaimed the overall classification lead from Barreda Bort's team-mate Kevin Benavides and now holds a slender 3m14s advantage of the Argentine, with the stage victor up to third despite his injury.

Stage 8 will see the rally move through to Tupiza for the 2nd leg of the Marathon Stage, which will test the riders with the longest special stage of the rally, covering almost 500 kms.

The rally has already reached Uyuni from La Paz in this stage and will head towards Tupiza, deeper into Bolivia.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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