Thu, January 15, 2009
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Dakar 2009 - Cars: Sainz extends lead

2009-01-15 10:37:47 GMT2009-01-15 18:37:47 (Beijing Time)

The Dakar encampment after the 10th stage of the Argentina Dakar Rally 2009 in Copiapo, Chile, Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2009.(AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

Carlos Sainz of Spain steers his Volkswagen over a sand dune during the 10th stage of the Dakar 2009, around Copiapo, Chile. Sainz won the stage and keeps the lead of the race. (AFP/Gabriel Bouys)

Dakar Rally leader Carlos Sainz won his fourth stage in a row as the controversial event was marred by another serious injury.

Spanish motorcyle rider Cristobal Guerrero was left in a coma after crashing 160km into the 10th stage, a 476km loop starting and finishing in the Chilean desert city of Copiapo.

Organisers said they would give an update on the 48-year-old's condition after he had undergone a scan.

The race has already claimed the life of French motorcyclist Pascal Terry whose body was found on January 7, three days after he went missing during the second stage in Argentina.

British pair Paul Green and Matthew Harrison suffered thorax and spine injuries during the rally's first stage when their car overturned in another bad accident.

Former world rally champion Sainz forged ahead in the car category after Argentina's Orlando Terranova, who led for the first third of the stage, rolled his vehicle and was forced to withdraw. The driver and his navigator were unhurt.

Sainz was handed the lead but lost it to American Robby Gordon who led for over 100km before the Spaniard regained the advantage near the end to win by 21 seconds and clinch his sixth stage of the race.

American Mark Miller came in third, a futher 7.39 minutes behind Gordon.

Sainz increased his overall lead over Miller to more than 27 minutes.

The race is being held in Argentina and Chile because of security fears in Mauritania which caused the cancellation of last year's race.


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