/ 11 January 2011

Al-Attiyah takes Dakar Rally lead

Qatari driver Nasser al-Attiyah took the overall race lead after winning the eighth stage of the Dakar Rally on Monday, a 508km special on a 776km run from Antofagasta to Copiapo.

The Volkswagen driver, runner-up last year, finished six minutes, 36 seconds ahead of teammate and defending champion Carlos Sainz, from whom he takes the overall race lead.

Al-Attiyah — who also won Sunday’s stage — now leads the Spaniard by 5min 14sec in the overall standings.

In the motorcycle section, overall race leader Marc Coma of Spain rode to victory in the 508km special on a 776km run, finishing 1min 55sec ahead of French KTM teammate and defending champion Cyril Despres, who is second overall 9min 19sec behind the Spaniard. — Sapa-AFP