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Dakar Rally: Sainz takes stage 1 victory

01-03-2011 14:20 BJT

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Drivers, riders and their teams have experienced their first full day of the 2011 Dakar Rally. Motorcyclist Ruben Faria and former World Rally champion driver Carlos Sainz claimed the initial stage wins. Zhou Yuande finished stage 1 first among all the Chinese drivers. He got 73rd place. Veteran drivers Zhou Yong and Lu Ningjun finished 85th and 93rd. China's Su Wenmin finished in 109th place in the motorbikes.

Sainz's major rival in the cars was Stephane Peterhansel. The Frenchman is seeking his 10th victory of the event. Peterhansel finished one minute and 31 seconds behind Sainz in his BMW.

Last year's runner-up, Nasser Al-Attiyah from Qatar came across the line in third place, a further 45 seconds back.

Mark Miller was third last year, and second two years ago but did not have the best of opening stages this time.

Sainz was the first man out in his Volkswagen Touraeg. The Spaniard endured problems with his windscreen wipers, but he was still the quickest on the day as he covered the 222 kilometres in two hours, 18 minutes and 32 seconds.

Carlos Sainz, Stage 1 winner, said, "We got a terrible rain storm, we couldn't see anything and I was very lucky because after that the (windscreen) wipers stopped working. But luckily the rain went, so everything was fine. I'm happy for the team that we are starting this rally leading (with the) first Volkswagen, and that is important."

Faria victorious in motorbikes

On two wheels...Portuguese rider Ruben Faria set the pace. He secured the fourth stage victory of his Dakar Rally career by completing the 192-kilometre distance in one hour, 58 minutes and two seconds.

Frenchman Cyril Despres was second, 29 seconds slower than Faria.

Marc Coma took third place on the stage. He was a minute and 15 seconds off the pace.

Editor:Zheng Limin |Source: CNTV.CN

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