Al-Attiyah takes lead at Dakar Rally

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COPIAPO – Qatari driver Nasser Al-Attiyah took the overall race lead after winning the eighth stage of the Dakar Rally, a 508km special on a 776km run through the Atacama desert from Antofagasta to here on Monday. The Volkswagen driver, runner-up last year, finished 6min 36sec ahead of teammate and defending champion Carlos Sainz from whom he takes the overall race lead following a battle through the lunar landscape of one of the driest places on earth. Al-Attiyah – who also won Sunday’s stage – now leads the Spaniard by 5min 14sec in the overall standings. “I can control the race now,” warned the Qatari driver.
France’s Stephane Peterhansel however lost all chance of winning a tenth Dakar title with his BMW overheating as he also suffered the eighth puncture of this year’s race leaving him nearly an hour off the pace.
Street wins ninth stage motorcycling: American rider Jonah Street won the ninth stage of the Dakar Rally in the motorcycling category here on Tuesday. The Yamaha rider finished the 235 kilometres special stage over three-and-a-half minutes ahead of Dutchman Frans Verhoeven on a BMW. In the race for overall winner Frenchman Cyril Despres made up some ground on Spanish leader Marc Coma, as he reduced his overall lead by over a minute, though he still trails by over eight minutes.