PARIS -- South African Giniel De Villiers,
driving a Volkswagen, won his first Dakar rally stage in 2006 on
Wednesday to leave Frenchman Stephane Peterhansel with a healthy
lead in the overall standings.
Bruno Saby of France (Volkswagen) finished second, five
minutes and 33 seconds behind in the 231-km 11th stage from
Kayes to Bamako, Mali's capital. Compatriot Luc Alphand
(Mitsubishi) came in third, some six minutes further off the pace.
Alphand, the 1997 overall alpine skiing World Cup winner,
still lies second in the overall standings 25 minutes and nine
seconds behind Peterhansel, who finished 11th on Wednesday in
his Mitsubishi. The race ends on Sunday.
De Villiers is third, more than 42 minutes adrift.
German Jutta Kleinschmidt, the 2001 race winner who was
fifth overall at the start of the day, pulled out after
destroying the front of her Volkswagen Touareg prototype by
hitting a tree 12 km into the stage.
In the motorcycle section, Mali-born Alain Duclos of France
won the stage ahead of overall leader Marc Coma of Spain.
American Jonah Street finished third.
KTM rider Coma stretched his lead over Frenchman Cyril
Despres, also on a KTM, to 34 minutes and 24 seconds. Italy's
Giovanni Sala was a distant third, more than one hour behind.
On Tuesday, the stage was treated as non-competitive to
allow the bikers to mourn the death of Australian Andy
Caldecott, who was killed in a crash on Monday.