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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 January, 2004, 17:12 GMT
Alphand triumphs again
Luc Alphand driving his BMW X5
France's former world ski champion Luc Alphand won stage 14 of the Dakar Rally for his second victory in three days.

The BMW driver covered the 548km run between Ayoun El Atrous and Tidjikja in Mauritania in six hours 51 minutes seven seconds.

Dakar debutant Colin McRae was more than 14 minutes adrift in second.

Stephan Peterhansel took third to maintain his overall lead as four-time winner Ari Vatanen crashed out after hitting a tree at speed.

Alphand, the 1997 alpine skiing world champion, fought a close duel with McRae all stage.

He said: "In the dunes, I saw McRae and told myself 'I'm going to try and impress him and overtake him'.

"That's what I did but I think it annoyed him as he overtook me again later. On the finish line he said 'I thought you were a skier.'"

Peterhansel has an overall cushion of 1:05:04 over Japan's Hiroshi Masuoka in a Mitsubishi.

Meanwhile, Vatanen said: "It was 100% my fault. We knocked the tree down but knocked our car out, too."

The Nissan driver, winner in 1987, 1989, 1990 and 1991, had been lying 28th overall in his 11th Dakar Rally.

He had won four stages in this year's race before his accident.


Leading positions after stage 14:

Cars:

1. S Peterhansel (Fra) Mitsubishi
43 hours 46 minutes three seconds
2. H Masuoka (Jpn) Mitsubishi +1:05:04
3. J-L Schlesser (Fra) Schlesser-Ford +2:31:44
4. L Alphand (Fra) BMW +3:38:29
5. A Mayer (Ger) Mitsubishi +5:21:35
Also: 10 C McRae (Gbr) Nissan +17:07:30

Motorbikes:

1. N Roma (Spa) KTM
46 hours 16 minutes 24 seconds
2. R Sainct (Fra) KTM +9:40
3. C Despres (Fra) KTM +41:25
4. A Cox (Rsa) KTM +43:43
5. P-G Lundmark (Swe) KTM +1:18:49




SEE ALSO
McRae claims Dakar stage win
14 Jan 04  |  Motorsport
McRae to race on
12 Jan 04  |  Motorsport
Dakar stages cancelled
09 Jan 04  |  Motorsport
Peterhansel back in front
08 Jan 04  |  Motorsport
McRae suffers in the sand
07 Jan 04  |  Motorsport
McRae blasts into contention
06 Jan 04  |  Motorsport
Peterhansel hit with penalty
05 Jan 04  |  Motorsport
Vatanen shines in Africa
04 Jan 04  |  Motorsport
Peterhansel takes Dakar lead
03 Jan 04  |  Motorsport
McRae makes Dakar move
02 Jan 04  |  Motorsport
Shinozuka wins Dakar prologue
01 Jan 04  |  Motorsport


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