Wary Peterhansel retains comfortable Dakar Rally lead

Stephane Peterhansel maintained a secure Dakar Rally lead with a cautious run through Thursday's La Rioja to San Juan stage, on which Nasser Al-Attiyah was fastest

Wary Peterhansel retains comfortable Dakar Rally lead

With the dramas for Peterhansel's Peugeot team-mates Carlos Sainz and Sebastien Loeb earlier in the week handing the event legend a one-hour lead, Peterhansel was content to set a safe pace on stage 11 and was fourth quickest behind Al-Attiyah, Loeb and Mikko Hirvonen, eight minutes off the benchmark.

X-raid Mini driver Al-Attiyah's stage win was achieved despite a broken driveshaft, but still leaves him 51 minutes adrift in second overall with just two stages remaining.

Loeb is still ninth in the outright standings, despite striking further technical problems late in the stage and needing to be towed to the finish by team-mate Cyril Despres.

Hirvonen's third place on the stage brought him closer to Toyota driver Giniel de Villiers' outright third position, with the gap between them down to five minutes.

LEADING STAGE 11 TIMES:

Pos Driver Team Car Gap
1 Nasser Al-Attiyah Axion X-Raid Team Mini/BMW 4h49m16.s
2 Sebastien Loeb Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 5m52.s
3 Mikko Hirvonen Axion X-Raid Team Mini/BMW 7m01.s
4 Stephane Peterhansel Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 8m05.s
5 Yazeed Al-Rajhi Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa Toyota 11m57.s
6 Nani Roma Axion X-Raid Team Mini/BMW 12m14.s
7 Giniel de Villiers Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa Toyota 12m58.s
8 Cyril Despres Team Peugeot Total Peugeot 14m51.s
9 Leeroy Poulter Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa Toyota 20m43.s
10 Vladimir Vasilyev G-Energy Team Toyota 21m29.s

OVERALL LEADERS AFTER STAGE 11:

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Peterhansel takes control of Dakar Rally as Sainz's run ends

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First Dakar stage win for Hirvonen, Peterhansel cruises in lead
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