Sainz’s lead cut in Dakar Rally |

Sainz’s lead cut in Dakar Rally

The Associated Press

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – Carlos Sainz finished in ninth place in the 11th stage of the Dakar Rally, cutting his overall lead to 4 minutes, 28 seconds, ahead of Volkswagen teammate Nasser Al-Attiyah.

Guerlain Chicherit of France won Wednesday’s stage from Santiago, across the Andes, to San Juan in Argentina. His time was 2 hours, 34 minutes, 51 seconds. Al-Attiyah was fourth, 1:41 behind, and Sainz was 7:19 behind the winner.

American Mark Miller, driving a VW, is third overall, 23 minutes, 50 seconds behind Sainz. Miller placed fifth in the stage, 2:50 behind Chicherit.

NASCAR star Robby Gordon, driving a Hummer, is 10th overall, 5:41:38 behind Sainz. Gordon placed 7th in the stage.

Three stages remain with the finish on Saturday in Buenos Aries.

Frans Verhoeven of the Netherlands won the motorcycle stage. Overall leader Cyril Despres was seventh and holds a commanding overall lead of 1:20:54 ahead of Pal Anders Ullevalseter of Norway.

Hospital officials in Chile said Italian motorcyclist Luca Manca was coming out of an induced coma after being taken off a respirator.

The 29-year-old Manca suffered serious head injuries when he fell from his bike last Thursday in northern Chile.

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