Thu, Jan 11, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Sunderland out of Dakar Rally with injury


Nasser al-Attiyah of Qatar and Matthieu Baumel of France try to move their stuck Toyota on Tuesday in the fourth stage of the Peru-Bolivia-Argentina Dakar rally in San Juan de Marcona, Peru.

Photo: Reuters

British motorcyclist Sam Sunderland on Tuesday abandoned his Dakar Rally title defense due to back pain and Portuguese soccer coach Andre Villas-Boas was taken to a hospital after his car crashed against a sand dune.

Rally organizers said Sunderland, the overall leader on a KTM, withdrew near the end of the 330km special around San Juan de Marcona when he was hurt after a jump.

Adrien van Beveren of France won the fourth stage in about four hours. He also moved into the overall lead, taking a one hour 55 minute advantage over Pablo Quintanilla of Chile.

In the car race, the 40-year-old Villas-Boas was in 43rd position for team Toyota at the time of his accident. There was no word on whether he was staying in the competition.

Another Frenchman, Sebastien Loeb, won the car stage after dueling with defending champion and Peugeot teammate Stephane Peterhansel.

Loeb and Peterhansel swapped checkpoint leads. Loeb finally led through the fourth and last checkpoint while Peterhansel, whose overall lead was not in trouble, stopped to change a tire hanging off the rim.

Loeb beat Carlos Sainz by 95 seconds, followed by Peterhansel for a Peugeot sweep of the podium.

Peterhansel leads overall by six hours 55 minutes over Loeb.

The former champions who started the day second and third overall dropped out of title contention.

Cyril Despres, the five-time champion on a bike who was lying second in a car, had a broken rear wheel after hitting a rock at about 180km and his rally appeared over.

Nasser al-Attiyah, the two-time champion who won stages one and three, became stuck in sand three times and fell almost an hour off the pace.

Also, Nani Roma, a winner in the car and bike categories, did not start the stage after crashing at the end of the third on Monday.

He was airlifted to a Lima hospital with head and neck injuries.

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