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Last Updated: Monday, 22 January 2007, 09:35 GMT
Dakar Rally photos

An unidentified competitor splashes through a river on stage three  between Nador and Er-Rachidia in Morocco

The Dakar Rally takes its competitors through some of the most spectacular and toughest terrain in Africa

Dutchman Frans Verhoeven rides his KTM during the fourth stage of the Dakar rally between Er-Rachidia and Ouarzazate in Morocco

The harsh terrain of Africa's deserts puts a heavy toll on all the machinery - and particularly the motorbikes

The Mitsubishi of Frenchmen Benoit Rousselot and Gilles Mondesir encounter a farmer and his mules during stage three in Morocco

The contrast between the high-tech rally cars and the poverty of the countries they pass through is a defining aspect of the Dakar Rally

Spain's Isidre Eseve Pujol passes a mosque during Wednesday's fifth stage between Ouarzazate and Tan Tan in Morocco

The event brings the competitors into contact with cultures foreign to many of them

Spanish team Joan Roma and Luca Cruz Senra steer their Mitsubishi during the third stage of the Dakar Rally between Nador and Er-Rachidia, Morocco

Under a stunning azure sky, Spain's Joan Roma steers his Mitsubishi through a barren valley in Morocco

Ari Vatanen's VW Touareg crests a dune during the fourth stage between Er-Rachidia and Ouarzazate in Morocco

World rally legend Ari Vatanen is one of the big names attracted by the romance of crossing the Sahara in a car

Japan's Hiroshi Masuoka and French co-driver Pascal Maimon steer their Mitsubishi during the fourth stage of the Dakar Rally between Er-Rachidia and Ouarzazate in Morocco

Japan's Hiroshi Mauoka slaloms between the Moroccan palm trees in his Mitsubishi

Giniel de Villiers' VW Touareg during the fourth stage between

Giniel de Villiers crests a dune in the Moroccan Sahara in his Volkswagen Touareg

Spain's Marc Coma during the fourth stage of the Dakar Rally between Er-Rachidia and Ouarzazate in Morocco

Spain's Marc Coma crests a rise on his way to winning the fourth stage in Morocco

The Mitsubishi of last year's winner Luc Alphand passes some motorbikes during the sixth stage of the Dakar Rally between Tan Tan in Morocco and Zouerat in Mauritania on 11 January

After a week in Europe and North Africa, the event crosses into the deep Sahara and Mauritania

Hiroshi Masuoka's Mitsubishi on stage seven between Zouerat and Atar in Mauritania

Former winner Hiroshi Masuoka steers his Mitsubishi over one of the rough Mauritanian stages

Two bikers cross a sand dune on stage six of the Dakar Rally between Tan Tan in Morocco and Zouerat in Mauritania

The deep Saharan sand is tough going for everyone - but particularly those competitors on motorbikes

France's driver Guerlain Chicherit and co-driver Mathieu Baumel are attended by medics after an accident during the sixth stage of the Dakar Rally

Frenchman Guerlain Chicherit was forced to retire after this accident in the desert during stage six

An unidentified competitor on the eighth stage of the Dakar Rally in Mauritania

The stages in Mauritania in the heart of the Sahara provide some of sport's most stunning images

France's Jean Louis Schlesser and co-driver Arnaud Debron steer their Ford buggy during the ninth stage of the Dakar rally between Tichit and Nema, Mauritania

France's Jean-Louis Schlesser, a former winner and ex-Formula One driver, pilots his Ford buggy through the Mauritanian desert

Cyril Depres rides his KTM on the ninth stage of the Dakar Rally between Tichit and Mauritania

The Sahara is littered with stunning rock formations, but Cyril Depres has no time to admire the scenery

Luc Alphand's Mitsubishi during the ninth stage of the Dakar Rally Tichit and Nema, Mauritania

Three camels look on nonchalantly as Luc Alphand in his Mitusbishi attempts to close the gap to the leader

Giniel de Villiers is directed by policemen during the 11th stage of the Dakar Rally in Mauritania

Giniel de Villiers is directed by policemen during the 11th stage of the Dakar Rally in Mauritania

Carlos Sainz on the 12th stage of the Dakar Rally between Ayoun El Atrous in Mauritania and Kayes in Mali

Carlos Sainz heads into Mali on his way to winning the 12th stage in his Volkswagen

Stephane Peterhansel of France

Former winner Stephane Peterhansel of France is tracked by a helicopter in the Sahara

Eric Aubijoux suffered a heart attack after completing the penultimate stage.

The Dakar has had its share of tragedies, and Frenchman Eric Aubijoux is one of two riders to die this year

Mitsubishi's Stephane Peterhansel and team-mate Luc Alphand.

After the heat of the desert, competitors take to the beach during the 15th and final stage

Stephane Peterhansel

After 15 gruelling stages, Peterhansel celebrates his third Dakar triumph

Cyril Despres

KTM rider Cyril Despres takes the Dakar motorbike crown for the second time in three years

Stephane Peterhansel steers his Mitsubishi around Rose Lake in Senegal's capital Dakar on his way to his third Dakar Rally victory

Winner Stephane Peterhansel steers his Mitsubishi around Dakar's Rose Lake during the final stage of the event



SEE ALSO
Peterhansel claims Dakar triumph
21 Jan 07 |  Rallying
Rider dies as Dakar nears finish
20 Jan 07 |  Motorsport
Lost Coma quits Dakar after crash
19 Jan 07 |  Rallying
Peterhansel extends lead in Dakar
16 Jan 07 |  Rallying
Motorcyclist dies in Dakar Rally
09 Jan 07 |  Rallying
Sainz maintains Dakar dominance
10 Jan 07 |  Rallying
Sainz takes overall lead in Dakar
08 Jan 07 |  Rallying
Sainz advantage trimmed in Dakar
11 Jan 07 |  Rallying
Sainz claims Dakar stage victory
07 Jan 07 |  Rallying
Portuguese duo take Dakar honours
06 Jan 07 |  Rallying


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