Another Stage For Peterhansel, Sainz Holding Serve

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Stephane Peterhansel during Thursday's Dakar Rally stage. (Dakar Rally Photo)
Stephane Peterhansel during Thursday's Dakar Rally stage. (Dakar Rally Photo)

HARADH, Saudi Arabia – Stephane Peterhansel collected his fourth stage victory of this year’s Dakar Rally on Thursday as Carlos Sainz inched closer to winning the event for the third time.

Peterhansel claimed the stage victory, the 80th of his Dakar Rally career, by 10 seconds over runner-up Nasser Al-Attiyah. Sainz finished the stage third, eight minutes behind Peterhansel.

With his third-place finish in Thursday’s 379 kilometer stage, Sainz now holds a lead of 10 minutes and 17 seconds over Al-Attiyah entering the final day of competition on Friday. The final stage, originally scheduled to be 374 kilometers, has been shortened to 166 kilometers due to construction of gas pipelines on the planned route.

Pablo Quintanilla took top honors in the motorcycle portion, beating Matthias Walkner by nine seconds to earn the stage victory. The stage win, combined with class leader Ricky Brabec finishing more than 11 minutes back, allowed Quintanilla to close to within 13 minutes of Brabec ahead of the final stage.

The truck division continued to be dominated by Andrey Karginov, who earned his sixth stage win of the event. He leads the class by almost 39 minutes entering the final day of competition.

Francisco Lopez dominated the SxS portion of Thursday’s stage, winning by nearly 11 minutes over Aron Domzala. However, American Casey Currie continues to lead the class standings by a hefty 45 minutes.

The penultimate stage for the quad class was won by Rafal Sonik. Ignacio Casale finished second in the stage and still holds a 21-minute advantage in the class rankings entering the final day of action.