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Dakar Rally: Nasser Al-Attiyah's lead shrinks amid sickness

An unwell Nasser Al-Attiyah's Dakar Rally lead was trimmed by Giniel de Villiers on Saturday's marathon stage, from which Orlando Terranova emerged with the fastest time

In a change to the format for 2015, competitors have to do without their service crews and assistance trucks for the middle weekend, carrying only three spare tyres with them for Saturday's 199-mile run from Iquique to Uyuni and Sunday's follow-up 317-mile route back to Iquique, where the rest day will take place on Monday.

The punishing seventh stage took place partly at 3,500 metres above sea level, and rally leader Al-Attiyah was only seventh fastest after having to stop several times due to altitude sickness.

His pursuer de Villiers' Imperial Toyota was only one place ahead of the WRC2 champion's X-raid Mini in the Saturday results, but was three minutes quicker - bringing Al-Attiyah's overall lead down to eight minutes.

While Terranova, heavily delayed by incidents in the opening days and long since out of contention, took the stage win, Yazeed Al-Rajhi edged out Bernhard Ten Brinke and Krzysztof Holowczyc for second in the times, cementing Al-Rajhi's third place overall.

Peugeot's best remaining runner Stephane Peterhansel was second fastest for much of the stage before losing time as a storm hit. He ended up eighth in Saturday's times and is now back up to the same place overall.

LEADING STAGE SEVEN TIMES:

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Orlando Terranova Monster Energy Rally Raid Team Mini/BMW 3h31m18.s
2 Yazeed Al-Rajhi Yazeed Racing Toyota 2m20.s
3 Bernhard Ten Brinke Overdrive Toyota Toyota 2m28.s
4 Krzysztof Holowczyc Monster Energy Rally Raid Team Mini/BMW 2m57.s
5 Nani Roma Monster Energy Rally Raid Team Mini/BMW 4m02.s
6 Giniel de Villiers Toyota Imperial Team South Africa Toyota 6m50.s
7 Nasser Al-Attiyah Qatar Rally Team Mini/BMW 9m48.s
8 Stephane Peterhansel Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 10m43.s
9 Robby Gordon Speed Energy Racing HST/Chevrolet 10m48.s
10 Vladimir Vasilyev Vasilyev Racing Team Mini/BMW 13m32.s

LEADING OVERALL STANDINGS AFTER STAGE SEVEN:

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