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Last Updated: Sunday, 2 January, 2005, 11:20 GMT
Stage win gives McRae Dakar lead
Colin McRae and co-driver Tina Thorner in their Nissan
McRae and co-driver Tina Thorner in their Nissan
Britain's Colin McRae leads the car category of the Dakar Rally after a win in Sunday's third stage in Granada.

The Scot clocked seven minutes and 48 seconds on the 10km timed section, beating defending champion Stephane Peterhansel of France by six seconds.

France's David Fretigne claimed victory on his Yamaha in the bike category.

He clocked seven minutes and 57 seconds to beat South African KTM rider Alfie Cox by two seconds. Fellow Frenchman Cyril Depres was a further second back.

In the truck category, Dutchman Hans Bekx won the stage to hold on to his overall lead.

Former world rally champion McRae's stage win allowed him to take over the lead from Robby Gordon, who won the first stage.

"I had a lot of fun. The car is working very well and I'm very happy," said McRae.

"I had a blast at driving this car. The special was very nice for the spectators, who got to see a very good show from all the competitors."

The rally now moves on from Spain to Morocco, with Monday's fourth stage taking the drivers from Rabat to Agadir.

Stage three results

1 Colin McRae (GB) Nissan 7 minutes and 48 seconds
2 Stephane Peterhansel (Bel) Mitsubishi 7:54
3 Ari Vatanen (Fin) Nissan 7:58
4 Giniel De Villiers (SA) Nissan 8:01
5 Robby Gordon (US) Volkswagen 8:03
6 Luc Alphand (Fr) Mitsubishi 8:03
7 Bruno Saby (Fr) Volkswagen 8:04
8 Hiroshi Masuoka (Jpn) Mitsubishi 8:09
9 Nasser Saleh Al Attiyah (Qat) BMW 8:14
10 Jutta Kleinschmidt (Ger) Volkswagen 8:15

1 McRae 12 hours 22 minutes
2 Gordon 12:23
3 De Villiers 12:24
4 Peterhansel 12:29
4 Saby 12:29

1 David Fretigne (Fr) Yamaha 7 minutes and 57 seconds
2 Alfie Cox (SA) KTM 7:59
3 Cyril Despres (Fr) KTM 8:00
4 Jordi Duran (Sp) KTM 8:06
5 Marc Coma (Sp) KTM 8:07
6 Andy Caldecott (Aus) KTM 8:08
7 Carlo De Gavardo (Chi) KTM 8:11
8 Celso Gorrara (Swi) KTM 8:16
9 Kellon Walch (US) KTM 8:17
9 Fabrizio Meoni (It) KTM 8:17

1 Fretigne 12 hours eight minutes
2 Despres 12:19
3 Walch 12:55
4 Meoni 12:58
5 Eric Verhoeff (Neth) KTM 12:59

Comte withdraws from Dakar Rally
01 Jan 05 |  Motorsport
Gordon grabs early Dakar glory
31 Dec 04 |  Motorsport
McRae targets Dakar Rally victory
30 Dec 04 |  Motorsport
'Tougher' route for Dakar drivers
17 Nov 04 |  Motorsport

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