Riyadh, January 8
Stephane Peterhansel retained his Dakar Rally lead at the halfway point in Saudi Arabia today after a sixth stage dominated by his Spanish X-Raid Mini teammate and defending champion Carlos Sainz.
The Frenchman, a 13 time winner on two wheels and four, finished fourth on the shortened 348km stage from Al Qaisumah to Ha’il.
Closest rival Nasser Al-Attiyah of Qatar was third and trimmed Peterhansel’s overall lead to five minutes and 53 seconds going into Saturday’s rest day.
Sainz clawed back seven and a half minutes from Peterhansel, his second stage win of the event leaving the 58-year-old triple champion still a hefty 40 minutes adrift in third overall.
Toyota’s Saudi driver Yazeed Al Rajhi finished the stage second.
The stage was reduced by 100km, with a deferred start, after a significant number of competitors suffered navigational problems on Thursday.
Australian Toby Price took the lead in the motorcycle standings with Spaniard Joan Barreda securing his third stage win of the event.
Two-time champion Price moved two minutes and 16 seconds clear. — Reuters