Triple Dakar Rally champion Stephane Peterhansel drove his BMW to victory in Thursday’s fifth stage, covering the 423km run from Calama in 4 hours, 33 minutes, 19 seconds to storm into second place in the chase for this year’s title.
The 45-year-old Frenchman, the champion on four wheels in 2004, 2005 and 2007 and a six-time motorcycle winner, was 1 minute, 24 seconds ahead of Qatar’s Nasser Al-Attiyah in a Volkswagen and 3 minutes, 15 seconds in front of overall leader Carlos Sainz in another Volkswagen.
Peterhansel reveled on a stage that featured many challenging sand dunes and also caused the Volkswagen duo of Al-Attiyah and defending champion Sainz navigational headaches.
Despite that, Sainz, a double world rally champion, held onto the overall lead, 2 minutes, 26 seconds ahead of Peterhansel, with last year’s runner-up Al-Attiyah in third, 2 minutes, 33 seconds off the pace.
“We managed to overtake Al-Attiyah and Sainz by taking advantage of a navigation error they made. After that, it was our turn to make a mistake and get a flat tire,” Peterhansel said. “They overtook again, but we managed to pass them at the end.”
Portugal’s Paulo Goncalves, riding a BMW, won the motorcycle stage, with Chilean Aprilia rider Francisco Lopez taking second. Goncalves finished 2 minutes, 18 seconds ahead of Lopez and 2 minutes, 19 seconds in front of Dutchman Frans Verhoeven on another BMW.
Overall leader Marc Coma of Spain was fourth on a KTM, just ahead of main rival and defending champion Cyril Despres of France, who was 12 seconds behind the Spaniard.
Despres stays second in the overall standings, despite being handed a 10-minute penalty for a technical infringement.
“I was told at half past four in the morning that I’d been given a penalty. I just forgot my thermal gloves, so I went back to get them and I didn’t see that there were signposts I had to follow at the exit,” the French rider said.
Goncalves, who is fourth overall, said he had stopped to help rival Olivier Pain, who had broken a wrist in a nasty fall.
“After the refueling point, I stopped to help Olivier Pain who had fallen. The rules say we should stop,” Goncalves said.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday said that he had called in the “third umpire” as he announced that recreational cricket would be allowed to resume next weekend. In a radio interview earlier on Friday, Johnson angered thousands of club cricketers by saying that the amateur game was still not safe to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic because of issues surrounding communal teas and dressing rooms. “It’s the teas, it’s the changing rooms and so on and so forth. There are other factors involved that generate proximity which you might not get in a game of tennis,” he said. Johnson had already
Indian police are investigating an alleged betting scandal in which a sham cricket tournament was held in an Indian village and passed off as a Twenty20 contest played in Sri Lanka. Players portrayed as Sri Lankan cricketers played two matches on Monday last week that were broadcast with live commentary on YouTube, media reports said, along with ball-by-ball coverage on top Indian sports Web sites. The organizers hung Sri Lankan advertisements at the ground for added authenticity and put up tents to block the view from outside the remote rural venue, set in farmland next to a busy highway. Police said that they
Taipower on Sunday charged to their third straight win and took over first place in the Taiwan Football Premier League as previous leaders Taichung Futuro suffered their first defeat of the season, while Hang Yuan rallied from two goals down to complete a thrilling 3-2 victory over National Taiwan University of Sport (NTUS). Heading into the 10th round of matches, unbeaten Taichung Futuro led the league with 21 points, but they fell to their first defeat of the season, a 1-0 loss to Tatung at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung. In a match in which both defenses were on top and there
HOTSHOT: Luis Suarez scored his 194th goal for Barca, tying him with Ladislao Kubala as the club’s third-highest scorer, behind Cesar Rodriguez and Lionel Messi With another decisive penalty from Sergio Ramos, Real Madrid on Sunday extended their perfect run after the COVID-19 suspension and moved closer to their first Spanish title in three years. Ramos scored his fifth goal since the season resumed as Madrid defeated Athletic Bilbao 1-0 to maintain a four-point lead over Barcelona, who beat fifth-placed Villarreal 4-1. Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann were among the scorers for Barcelona after assists from Lionel Messi. Ramos converted a 73rd-minute penalty to give Madrid their seventh straight victory and they remain the only team with a perfect record since La Liga resumed. “These three points are very