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Sainz scores sixth Dakar stage win

Carlos Sainz, Volkswagen, 2009 Dakar RallyCarlos Sainz moved another step closer to victory in the Dakar rally after scoring his fourth consecutive stage win on the tenth day of the event.

The former World Rally Champion has now won six of the ten stages that has taken place so far.

The win was also the 15th for the Spaniard in the Dakar.

Volkswagen driver Sainz finished the day in five hours and 32 minutes, beating Hummer's Robby Gordon by just 21 seconds, after the American had led through the final control points.

Sainz, however, moved ahead near the end of the shortened special and consolidated his lead even more.

"It was a god day," said Gordon. "We had pretty much a flawless run. We got by Mark Miller around CP2. I was a little conservative in the bumps but we lost by 20 seconds so it was very close."

Volkswagen's Mark Miller was third today, over seven minutes behind Sainz, who is now over 27 ahead of the American, second in the overall standings, with four stages to go.

"We struggled with the navigation all morning," Miller said. "When you are struggling with the navigation the rhythm is very difficult to maintain.

"Finally when we got a puncture and Giniel caught us we followed him. It was a very difficult day. I really expected to do better in the stage."

South African Giniel de Villiers lost further time to Sainz after he finished in sixth as VW continued to head the standings with their three drivers. The former leader is now 41 minutes behind Sainz.

The only works Mitsubishi driver left, Joan Roma, posted the fifth fastest time, 15 minutes adrift. BMW's Guerlain Chicherit finished in fourth.

The day was marked by tragedy, after Spanish rider Cristobal Guerrero was left in a coma following a crash at km 160. The Spaniard had to be airlifted to a hospital in Copiapo where a CT scan will be carried out.

Stage ten results:

Pos  Driver             Car                Time
 1.  Sainz              Volkswagen         5h32:55
 2.  Gordon             Hummer              +   00:21
 3.  Miller             Volkswagen          +   07:39
 4.  Chicherit          BMW                 +   12:25
 5.  Roma               Mitsubishi          +   15:01
 6.  De Villiers        Volkswagen          +   18:15
 7.  Novitskiy          BMW                 +   51:25
 8.  Tollefsen          Nissan              + 1h08:59
 9.  Bernand            BMW                 + 1h09:58
10.  Vigouroux          Hummer              + 1h12.11

Overall positions:

Pos  Driver            Car              Time
 1.  Sainz             Volkswagen       38h59:027
 2.  Miller            Volkswagen      +    27:31
 3.  De Villiers       Volkswagen      +    41:13
 4.  Roma              Mitsubishi      +  1h13:13
 5.  Gordon            Hummer          +  1h34:38
 6.  Tollefsen         Nissan          +  5h14:18
 7.  Kuipers           BMW             +  8h01:51
 8.  Palik             Nissan          +  9h50:29
 9.  Holowczyc         Nissan          + 13h04:54
10.  Chicherit         BMW             + 13h32:04

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