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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 January, 2005, 16:13 GMT
McRae crashes out of Dakar Rally
Colin McRae on the fifth stage of the Dakar Rally
McRae was airlifted to hospital
Colin McRae's hopes of victory in the Dakar Rally ended when he crashed out during the sixth stage.

The Scot, who had started the day leading overall, crashed his Nissan 410km in the 492km special time section between Smara and Zouerat.

McRae was flown to hospital, but both he and co-driver Tina Thorner were said to be alright after a check-up.

Defending champion Stephane Peterhansel won the stage to move up to fifth overall while Bruno Saby is leading.

McRae's manager Campbell Roy confirmed the serious nature of the accident.

"Colin took a bang on the head and lost his vision for 10 minutes," said Roy.

They lost control of the pickup after a very heavy landing on one of the numerous jumps
Nissan spokeswoman

"But a media helicopter flew him to receive medical treatment and he has rung home to tell his family that he is okay."

And Nissan confirmed that McRae, a former world rally champion, had avoided serious harm.

"Both McRae and Thorner have had a check-up and both have escaped without serious injury," a spokeswoman said.

"McRae is suffering from troubled vision and will fly back to Scotland tomorrow while Tina is suffering from a bad back.

"They lost control of the pickup after a very heavy landing on one of the numerous jumps and were sent into a multiple roll."

Robby Gordon's hopes of glory on his Dakar Rally debut were also in jeopardy after the Nascar star had an accident.

Gordon crashed his Volkswagen heavily and lost valuable time with front brake and gearbox troubles.

In the bike category, Cyril Despres moved into the overall lead after finishing the stage fourth.

The Frenchman crept above overnight leader Marc Coma, who was seven minutes off the Wednesday pace.

Leading Briton Mike Extance slipped to 39th overall after losing 99 minutes, while his compatriot John Griffiths was forced to pull out after breaking a wrist in a crash.


Wednesday's stage results:

Cars
1. Bruno Saby (Fra) Volkswagen Motorsport 9hours 22mins 31secs
2. Luc Alphand (Fra) Mitsubishi Motor Sports at 40secs
3. Jutta Kleinschmidt (Ger) Volkswagen Motorsport at 3:56
4. Nasser saleh Al Attiyah (Qat) X - Raid at 4:32
5. Stephane Peterhansel (Fra) Mitsubishi Motor Sports at 7:19
6. Juha Kankkunen (Fin) Volkswagen Motorsport at 13:02
7. Giniel de Villiers (Rsa) Nissan Rally Raid Team at 14:05
8. Gregoire de Mevius (Bel) Nissan Dessoude at 16:23
9. Carlos Sousa (Por) Nissan Dessoude at 18:32
10. Jean-louis Schlesser (Fra) Schlesser - Ford - Raid at 24:00

Overall
1. Stephane Peterhansel (Fra) Mitsubishi Motor Sports 4hrs 29secs
2. Bruno Saby (Fra) Volkswagen Motorsport at 7mins 26secs
3. Luc Alphand (Fra) Mitsubishi Motor Sports at 9mins 17secs
4. Jean-louis Schlesser (Fra) Schlesser - Ford - Raid at 11mins 07secs
5. Nasser saleh Al Attiyah (Qat) X - Raid at 11mins 33secs

Motorbikes
1. Fabrizio Meoni (Ita) Gauloises KTM 4hours 37mins 14secs
2. Pal anders Ullevalseter (Nor) Scandanavia at 1min 38secs
3. Alfie Cox (Rsa) Gauloises KTM at 2:58
4. Cyril Despres (Fra) Gauloises KTM at 4mins 37secs
5 Marc Coma (Spa) KTM Repsol - Red Bull at 6mins 57secs

Overall
1. Cyril Despres (Fra) Gauloises KTM 8hours 56mins 49secs
2. Marc Coma (Spa) KTM Repsol - Red Bull at 35secs
3. Fabrizio Meoni (Ita) Gauloises KTM at 1:16
4. Andy Caldecott (Aus) KTM Team Australia at 3:11
5. Alfie Cox (Rsa) Gauloises KTM at 3:21



SEE ALSO
McRae storms back into Dakar lead
04 Jan 05 |  Motorsport
Gordon back on top in Dakar rally
03 Jan 05 |  Motorsport
Stage win gives McRae Dakar lead
02 Jan 05 |  Motorsport
Gordon grabs early Dakar glory
31 Dec 04 |  Motorsport


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