Sainz storms to Dakar Rally lead

Dakar Rally 2018 Stage 8

UYUNI, Bolivia (AP) - Carlos Sainz took advantage of Stephane Peterhansel's crash to win a second successive stage of the Dakar Rally and take the overall lead on Saturday.

According to his team, the damage was caused when he hit a stone as he tried to get past another competitor.

Teammate Cyril Despres had stopped to help the stricken Peterhansel who was leading the stage at the time of the accident. Having begun the stage with a 27-minute advantage over Sainz, he has now slipped to third overall after a 90-minute stop to fix his auto and scrambled to the stage finish 1hr 20m46s behind Sainz.

When Peterhansel eventually resumed racing, Sainz, the 2010 champion, had sprinted past on his way to taking the day's honors.

"Everything was smashed up". We spent 1 hr 50min patching it up. "It's just a blow to our morale and some damage on the vehicle".

As a result, Sainz now holds a huge advantage over nearest challenger Toyota's Nasser Al-Attiyah who has been promoted into second place but trails the leader by 1hr 11m29s.

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BC-CAR-Dakar Rally, 304 Sainz takes lead of Dakar Rally after Peterhansel crashesAP Photo XRM420, XRM422, XRM421Eds: With AP Photos.

"But there are plenty of stages left, some were very hard with the dunes and sand so anything can happen".

After finishing Saturday's stage from La Paz to Uyuni in a time of 5hrs 19min 53sec - 8:43min behind victor Joan Barreda Bort of Spain - 2016 champion Price is 13:34 behind leader Adrien van Beveren.

With van Beveren taking second place on the gruelling seventh stage he has reclaimed the overall classification lead from Barreda Bort's team-mate Kevin Benavides and now holds a slender 3m14s advantage of the Argentine, with the stage victor up to third despite his injury.

The Spaniard went off at a lightening pace, opening up a gap of over three minutes on Adrien Van Beveren after 200km, but he slowed noticeably as he rode home to victory over the Frenchman and Kevin Benavides, and he wasn't just playing it safe.

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