Sainz extends lead in Dakar Rally |

Sainz extends lead in Dakar Rally

The Associated Press

SAN MIGUEL DE TUCUMAN, Argentina – Defending champion Carlos Sainz stretched his lead in the Dakar Rally, winning the second stage Monday despite being barely able to see for about seven miles because of windshield wiper problems.

He’s followed by BMW’s Stephane Peterhansel and Volkswagen teammate Nasser Al-Attiyah.

Sainz covered the second car leg in northern Argentina in 3 hours, 11 minutes, 38 seconds. Al-Attiyah was 1:03 behind, with Peterhansel 1:34 back. In the overall standings, Sainz is 3:05 head of Peterhansel.

In bikes, defending champion Cyril Despres won the second stage in 3:19:11. Marc Coma was 1:49 behind and David Casteu was 3:46 back. In the overall, Despres is 2:35 in front of Coma.

Faria won the first stage, but was bumped into second by a one-minute penalty for speeding. Despres picked up the victory.

For Sainz, this was not the first time he had trouble with his wiper.

“For a dozen kilometers I couldn’t see a thing and I had to drive very slowly,” Sainz said. “I’m very disappointed. I’ve probably lost a lot of time. I don’t understand why we still have this problem because the mechanics checked everything yesterday.”

The race heads north on Tuesday to San Salvador de Jujuy in Argentina. It crosses into Chile on Wednesday, heading for the Atacama desert.

The race covers 5,903 miles and ends Jan. 16 in Buenos Aires.

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