Peterhansel edges closer to Dakar Rally lead

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Belen, Jan 17 (IANS) France’s defending champion Stephane Peterhansel edged closer to the overall Dakar Rally lead when he won the 10th stage in Argentina.

Peterhansel finished the 373km timed section from Salta to Belen in four hours 43 minutes and 46 seconds in his Peugeot on Tuesday, almost nine minutes ahead of Toyota’s South African driver Giniel de Villiers, reports Xinhua news agency.

Race leader Carlos Sainz of Spain was third in his Peugeot, 13 minutes and seven seconds off the pace and he now leads Peterhansel by 50 minutes and 53 seconds.

In the motorcycle category, race leader Adrien van Beveren was forced to withdraw after crashing his Yamaha. The Frenchman was airlifted to hospital for medical checks.

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Austria’s Matthias Walkner took the lead by winning Tuesday’s stage on his KTM, ahead of Spain’s Joan Barreda and Argentine Kevin Benavides, both riding for Honda.

–IANS

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