/ 12 January 2011

Sainz fights back with stage win

Carlos Sainz of Volkswagen won the ninth stage of the car section of the Dakar Rally on Tuesday, a 235km special around Copiapo in northern Chile, the Spaniard closing in on overall leader and teammate Nasser al-Attiyah.

Sainz trimmed one minute, 56 seconds off al-Attiyah’s lead to close the gap to 3min 18sec.

American rider Jonah Street won the ninth stage in the motorcycling category.

The Yamaha rider finished the 235km 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. — Sapa-AFP