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Last Updated: Sunday, 4 January, 2004, 15:42 GMT
Vatanen shines in Africa
Ari Vatanen
Finland's Ari Vatanen dominated the first African stage of the Dakar Rally on Sunday.

Vatanen, who has won the race four times, extended his record of individual Dakar stage wins to 50.

France's Stephane Peterhansel, in a Mitsubishi, was 10 seconds behind, but that was enough to increase his overall lead to one minute and seven seconds.

Italy's Miki Biasion was third, while Colin McRae finished fourth to move up to sixth in the overall standings.

Fabrizio Meoni took the fourth stage honours in the motorcycle section.

The fifth stage on Monday is between Er Rachidia and Ouarzazate.

Overall positions after stage four:


1 Stephane Peterhansel (Fra) Mitsubishi one hour 12 minutes 20 seconds
2 Miki Biasion (Ita) Mitsubishi + one minute seven seconds
3 Gregoire De Mevius (Bel) BMW +1:28
4 Ari Vatanen (Fin) Nissan +1:28
5 Hiroshi Masuoka (Jap) Mitsubishi +1:37

6. Colin McRae (Gbr) Nissan +1:55


1 Isidre Esteve Pujol (Spa) KTM one hour 13 minutes 29 seconds
2 Fabrizio Meoni (Ita) KTM +14 seconds
3 Cyril Despres (Fra) KTM +0:16
4 Alfie Cox (Rsa) KTM + 0:32
5 Marc Coma (Spa) KTM +1:45

Peterhansel takes Dakar lead
03 Jan 04  |  Motorsport
McRae makes Dakar move
02 Jan 04  |  Motorsport
Shinozuka wins Dakar prologue
01 Jan 04  |  Motorsport
McRae relishing Dakar test
01 Jan 04  |  Motorsport
McRae to race in desert rally
18 Nov 03  |  World Rally

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