Sainz Crashes Out of Dakar

Dakar Rally leader Carlos Sainz is Dakar Rally leader no more. Following a crash only 79 kilometers into stage 12 of the South-American event, the Spaniard damaged his car beyond repair after crashing into a ravine and had to call it a day with only 3 days to go in the competition.

The Volskwagen driver was leading the Dakar Rally by almost half-an-hour before being forced out of the race. Following the crash, both Sainz and co-driver Michel Perin suffered minor injuries. The two were immediately transported to the Fiambala bivouac.

“The Spanish driver Carlos Sainz and his French co-pilot Michel Perin have just arrived by helicopter at the bivouac in Fiambala, thus confirming the withdrawal of Volkswagen Race Touareg No. 301, leader of the general standings until the start of the 12th stage this morning,” said a statement on the site.

The Spaniard had won no less than 6 stages in the Dakar Rally so far. Following this incredible turn of events, it seems like Mark Miller – should he manage to stay on track and finish today's stage ahead of South African Giniel de Villiers – will take over as 1st place in the rally.

The North American driver was leading the pack at P2 this afternoon, holding a 1 minute and 37 seconds advantage over second placed Robby Gordon and more than 2 minutes ahead of De Villiers.

In the bike category, French rider Cyril Despres clinched his 3rd Dakar win this year, crossing the finish line of Stage 12 one minute and 23 seconds ahead of overall leader Marc Coma and almost 10 minutes ahead of 3rd placed David Casteu (KTM).
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