Dakar Rally | Sainz wins seventh stage, extends lead

Mini's Spanish drivers Carlos Sainz of Spain. FRANCK FIFE / AFP
Mini's Spanish drivers Carlos Sainz of Spain. FRANCK FIFE / AFP

Carlos Sainz tightened his grip on the Dakar Rally with his third stage win of this year's edition marked by the death of bike rider Paulo Goncalves on Sunday.

Sainz in a Mini completed the longest special between Riyadh and Wadi ad-Dawasir over two minutes clear of Toyota rival Nasser Al-Attiyah with his fellow Mini driver Stephane Peterhansel in third.

The 57-year-old Sainz, a two-time former world rally champion, is in a strong position to add to his Dakar wins in 2010 and 2018.

With seven stages completed and five day's racing to go the Spaniard enjoys a comfortable 10 minute cushion over last year's winner Al-Attiyah, with 13-time Dakar champion Peterhansel a further nine minutes adrift.

Joan Barreda came out on top in the bikes category with American Ricky Brabec retaining his overall lead finishing fourth on the day.

Goncalves was killed after a crash at the 276km mark. The 40-year-old Portuguese, runner-up in 2015, was competing in his 13th Dakar.


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