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Rallying-Qatari Al-Attiyah wins his third Dakar

January 17, 2019 at 7:57 pm

Qatar’s Nasser Al-Attiyah became a three times Dakar Rally winner [Twitter]

Qatar’s Nasser Al-Attiyah became a three times Dakar Rally winner on Thursday, finishing with a 46-minute advantage after taking no risks on the final stage to Lima, while Australian Toby Price took the motorcycle crown.

The triumph, in a gruelling endurance event now run entirely in Peru and featuring cars, bikes, and trucks was a first for Japanese constructor Toyota.

Spaniard Carlos Sainz, last year’s car champion, won the closing 10th stage from Pisco with Al-Attiyah 12th and some nine minutes slower.

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Sainz’s compatriot Nani Roma, in an X-Raid Mini, finished second overall with nine times rally world champion Sebastien Loeb, runner-up in the stage, completing the podium with a privately-entered Peugeot in the absence of a works entry.

Al-Attiyah’s previous Dakar wins were with Volkswagen in 2011 and Mini in 2015.

Runner-up in 2018, the Qatari led after every stage bar the second day in this year’s event when South African teammate Giniel de Villiers was ahead.

Price, battling a painful wrist injury, had led overnight but with only a minute between him and Chilean Pablo Quintanilla.

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The Australian clinched his second Dakar title, on a KTM, after he won the stage and Quintanilla fell.

Russian Eduard Nikolaev secured his third successive Dakar title, and fourth in total, in the truck category with Kamaz.