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 Sunday, 5 January, 2003, 15:22 GMT
Peterhansel extends Dakar lead
Stephane Peterhansel
Peterhansel has stretched his overall lead

Stephane Peterhansel has stretched his lead in the Dakar Rally after dominating throughout the event's fourth stage.

The Frenchman finished Sunday's 25km special stage from Tunis to Tozeur in 18 minutes 26 seconds.

And it extended his lead over Giniel de Villiers, who finished the stage in fifth place, to one minute 23 seconds.

Peterhansel has won the motorcycle section of the event six times, but is bidding for his first overall win in a Mitsubishi.

He said: "The special was very short and enjoyable. We attacked quite a lot and therefore made mistakes.

"It was a very slippery special that looks like a World Rally Championship special stage. The serious stuff starts tomorrow."

The event heads on Monday into the first of the long Saharan desert stages that characterise the event.

As a result of his run, De Villiers usurped Hiroshi Masuoka's second place.

The motorcycle category was marred by a serious accident, which left Spain's Rodolfo Garcia Mochales with a double arm fracture after he fell from his Honda.

Joan Nani Roma closed the gap on overall leader Richard Sainct with victory on the stage.

Sainct, who ended the stage third, now leads overall by 22 seconds from Cyril Despres, who was fourth on Monday's route.


Dakar Rally stage four results:

Cars:
1. Stephane Peterhansel (Fra) Mitsubishi Sports 18min 26 sec
2. Gregoire De Mevius (Bel) BMW 22 sec behind
3. Ari Vatanen (Fin) Nissan 28
3. Jean-Louis Schlesser (Fra) Schlesser 28
5. Ginie De Villiers (Rsa) Nissan 50
6. Jean-Pierre Fontenay (Fra) Mitsubishi 55
7. Hiroshi Masuoka (Jap) Mitsubishi 56
8. Niki Biasion (Ita) Mitsubishi 1:08
9. Thierry De Lavergne (Fra) Nissan 1:14
10. Carlos Sousa (Por) Mitsubishi 1:20

Motorcycles (all KTM):
1. Joan Nani Roma (Spa) 19min 42 sec
2. Jean De Azevedo (Bra) 16 sec behind
3. Richard Sainct (Fra) 18
4. Cyril Despres (Fra) 22
5. Fabrizio Meoni (Ita) 38
6. Alain Duclos (Fra) 45
7. Paulo Marques (Por 58
7. Jose Luis Steuri (Spa) 58
9. Eric Verhoef (Ned) 1:08
10. Marc Coma (Spa) 1:16

See also:

03 Jan 03 | Motorsport
02 Jan 03 | Motorsport
01 Jan 03 | Motorsport
31 Dec 02 | Motorsport
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