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Last Updated: Saturday, 8 January, 2005, 16:22 GMT
Alphand cuts down Dakar deficit
Luc Alphand on Saturday's ninth stage
Alphand is in a private Mitsubishi battle with Peterhansel
Former ski champion Luc Alphand has won the ninth stage of the Dakar Rally.

The Frenchman edged out compatriot and Mitsubishi team-mate Stephane Peterhansel by 90 seconds, but remains 20 minutes behind him overall.

Germany's Jutta Kleinschmidt was third over the stage as the rally got moving again after Friday's leg was cancelled because of bad weather and visibility.

Spain's Esteve Pujol won the bike section of the race clocking 5 hours, 14 minutes and 10 seconds on his KTM.

Sunday is a rest day, and with seven stages to race before the rally ends next Sunday Peterhansel said he remains optimistic of overall victory.

"Halfway through the rally, the situation isn't too bad for us. I hadn't started very well but the Mauritanian stages saved me.

"I haven't managed impressive performances, but being constant was at least a good choice."


Stage nine results:
1. Luc Alphand (Fra) Mitsubishi, 4 hours, 52 minutes, 39 seconds
2. Stephane Peterhansel (Fra) Mitsubishi at 1:31
3. Robby Gordon (US) Volkswagenat 17:29
4. Jutta Kleinschmidt (Ger) Volkswagen at 19:13
5. Hiroshi Masuoka (Jap) Mitsubishi at 23:50

Overall standings
1. Stephane Peterhansel, 22 hours, 45 minutes, 57 seconds
2. Luc Alphand at 20:01 minutes
3. Jutta Kleinschmidt at 40:26
4. Giniel de Villiers (SA) Nissan at 3:03.02
5. Hiroshi Masuoka at 3:52.19




SEE ALSO
Bad weather wipes out Dakar stage
07 Jan 05 |  Motorsport
Peterhansel moves into Dakar lead
06 Jan 05 |  Motorsport
McRae crashes out of Dakar Rally
05 Jan 05 |  Motorsport
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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