Al-Attiyah regains Dakar lead on drama-filled 3rd stage

LIMA, Peru (AP) — Dakar Rally great Stephane Peterhansel won a drama-filled third stage on Wednesday in which defending champion Carlos Sainz and overnight leader Giniel de Villiers got stuck in the dunes and lost major time.

The motorbike standings were also shaken up, as race leader Joan Barreda descended in fog into a basin halfway through the 331-kilometer stage from San Juan de Marcona inland to Arequipa.

Also, defending champion Matthias Walkner, second overall overnight, strayed four kilometers off course and dropped to 21 minutes off the pace.

Sainz was the first notable driver to get in trouble just 38 kilometers in, when the front left wheel was almost torn off his Mini.

Peterhansel eventually won, and after starting the day 14 minutes down, he'd halved the deficit on new leader Al-Attiyah.

French rider Xavier de Soultrait, competing in his sixth Dakar, made a huge break at the start and held on for his first career stage victory by beating Pablo Quintanilla by 15 seconds.

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