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Dakar: Carlos Sainz wins seventh stage, Nani Roma keeps rally lead

Carlos Sainz cruised to a comfortable win on Sunday's seventh stage of the 2014 Dakar Rally.

The former World Rally champion completed the long-distance 533-kilometre test - a loop of the Argentine town of Salta - 4m45s ahead of the rest of the field in his SMG Buggy.

Despite his best efforts, Sainz is still way off in sixth overall after incurring a 60-minute penalty on Thursday and remains the best part of two hours behind current leader Nani Roma.

Nasser Al-Attiyah, who also received a one-hour punishment during the week, emerged as the best of the rest, while fellow X-raid Mini team-mates Stephane Peterhansel and Roma finished the day in third and fourth respectively.

While Roma managed to maintain his position at the top of the overall classification today, there was a change for second and third, with Peterhansel and Giniel de Villiers moving up the order after Orlando Terranova received a penalty.

The Argentinian driver had 15 minutes applied to his time following an incident with a motorcyclist during the previous stage and, as a result, has been relegated to fourth, ahead of Al-Attiyah and Sainz.

The rally continues on Monday with the competitors crossing the Andes Cordillera to begin the Chilean leg of the event.

Leading stage seven times:

Pos  Driver                Team/Car          Time/Gap
 1.  Carlos Sainz          SMG Buggy         4h43m28s
 2.  Nasser Al-Attiyah     X-raid Mini         +4m45s
 3.  Stephane Peterhansel  X-raid Mini         +7m26s
 4.  Nani Roma             X-raid Mini         +8m56s
 5.  Krzysztof Holowczyc   X-raid Mini        +10m51s
 6.  Federico Villagra     X-raid Mini        +12m54s
 7.  Vladimir Vasilyev     X-raid Mini        +15m58s
 8.  Giniel de Villiers    Imperial Toyota    +16m25s
 9.  Orlando Terranova     X-raid Mini        +18m00s
10.  Bernhard Ten Brinke   Ford HRX           +20m04s

Leading overall positions after stage seven:

Pos  Driver                Team/Car          Time/Gap
 1.  Nani Roma             X-raid Mini      27h03m52s
 2.  Stephane Peterhansel  X-raid Mini        +31m53s
 3.  Giniel de Villiers    Imperial Toyota    +48m23s
 4.  Orlando Terranova     X-raid Mini        +54m34s
 5.  Nasser Al-Attiyah     X-raid Mini      +1h18m24s
 6.  Carlos Sainz          SMG Buggy        +1h50m42s
 7.  Marek Dabrowski       Orlen Toyota     +2h30m47s
 8.  Krzysztof Holowczyc   X-raid Mini      +2h30m52s
 9.  Federico Villagra     X-raid Mini      +2h52m57s
10.  Christian Lavieille   H8 Haval         +3h07m06s
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