Al-Attiyah wins Dakar Rally

Source: Xinhua| 2019-01-18 05:55:08|Editor: yan
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LIMA, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- Qatari driver Nasser Al-Attiyah secured Toyota's first Dakar Rally title by finishing more than 46 minutes ahead of his nearest rival after Thursday's final stage.

Al-Attiyah completed the 10-stage event, which was held entirely in Peru for the first time, in 34 hours 38 minutes and 14 seconds.

Spanish X-Raid entrant Nani Roma was second and nine-time world rally champion Sebastien Loeb third in a private Peugeot.

"It's fantastic. No mistakes during the entire rally. It was a very, very difficult rally for everybody," said 48-year-old Al-Attiyah, who also won the off-road race in 2011 and 2015.

"The good thing was that from day three we were leading and we built on our time every day until we came to the last day with a big, big lead.

"Everybody wants to win the Dakar. But we felt when we came that in Peru, a 100-percent Peru rally, with no other country, there would be a lot of sand dunes, so we could do what we know we're good at."

Spain's 2018 Dakar champion Carlos Sainz ended a disappointing rally on a high by winning the last stage from Pisco to Lima.

The Mini driver finished the 112km section in one hour 20 minutes and one second, 42 seconds ahead of Frenchman Loeb. Cyril Despres, also of France, was third in his Mini, two minutes and 31 seconds off the pace.

Meanwhile, Australian Toby Price battled through pain to clinch his second Dakar motorbike title.

The 31-year-old, who broke the scaphoid bone in his right wrist before the race, won Thursday's final stage to finish more than nine minutes ahead of Red Bull KTM teammate Matthias Walkner of Austria.

Britain's Sam Sunderland was third, 13 minutes and 34 seconds, behind.

"The pain and torture has been worth it," Price said. "(The pain) feels like there are about five people driving a knife into my wrist."