Dakar: Vladimir Vasilyev wins fifth stage, Carlos Sainz retires

Russian Vladimir Vasilyev took his maiden stage victory in the Dakar Rally as Carlos Sainz crashed heavily and retired after five days of competition

Dakar: Vladimir Vasilyev wins fifth stage, Carlos Sainz retires

X-raid driver Vasilyev set the pace from the start of the stage and had a trouble-free run to give Mini its fifth win in as many stages of the event.

The Russian, who finished 10th overall last year, completed the 285-mile special 20 seconds ahead of Yazeed Al-Rajhi's Toyota.

American Robby Gordon was third quickest, 1m25s behind the stage winner, while rally leader Nasser Al-Attiyah finished in fourth, two places ahead of his main rival Giniel de Villiers, who saw the Qatari's lead increase to over 10 minutes after Thursday's stage.

Stephane Peterhansel was again the best Peugeot driver in fifth position, as the French manufacturer continued with its troubled return to the Dakar.

Following a dismal day on Wednesday, Peterhansel's Peugeot team-mate Sainz retired from the rally after crashing 12 miles from the the finish.

The 1990 and '92 World Rally champion was following a quad in the dust and crashed into a rock.

Sainz's car rolled five times, but both the Spaniard and co-driver Lucas Cruz were unhurt.

The third Peugeot of Cyril Despres also hit trouble just 40 miles into the stage, taking a wheel off his 2008 DKR. He had to wait for assistance from the team's service track and eventually made it back to the bivouac late at night.

LEADING STAGE FIVE TIMES:

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Vladimir Vasilyev Vasilyev Racing Team Mini/BMW 4h19m18.s
2 Yazeed Al-Rajhi Yazeed Racing Toyota 20.s
3 Robby Gordon Speed Energy Racing HST/Chevrolet 1m25.s
4 Nasser Al-Attiyah Qatar Rally Team Mini/BMW 3m24.s
5 Stephane Peterhansel Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 4m04.s
6 Giniel de Villiers Toyota Imperial Team South Africa Toyota 5m44.s
7 Krzysztof Holowczyc Monster Energy Rally Raid Team Mini/BMW 8m49.s
8 Nani Roma Monster Energy Rally Raid Team Mini/BMW 10m02.s
9 Erik van Loon Xdakar Mini/BMW 11m35.s
10 Orlando Terranova Monster Energy Rally Raid Team Mini/BMW 11m54.s

LEADING OVERALL STANDINGS AFTER STAGE FIVE:

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Series Dakar
Drivers Carlos Sainz