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Last Updated: Monday, 9 January 2006, 17:20 GMT
Aussie rider dies in Dakar Rally
Andy Caldecott
The Australian was an experienced rider
Australian motorcyclist Andy Caldecott has been killed in a crash in the ninth stage of the Dakar Rally.

The 41-year-old KTM rider, who won last Monday's third stage, was in 10th place overall after Saturday's eighth stage.

Fellow KTM rider Marc Coma retains the overall lead in the bike class with a 22-minute advantage over Cyril Despres, who won Monday's stage.

In the car category, defending champion Stephane Peterhansel of Mitsubishi won the stage to extend his lead.

The Frenchman, who is chasing a third consecutive Dakar Rally win, now leads Mitsubishi team-mate Luc Alphand by nine minutes.

But the day's action was overshadowed by the death of Caldecott, who crashed 250km into Monday's 599km stage between Nouakchott and Kiffa in Mauritania.

He becomes the 23rd competitor to die in the Dakar Rally since the event started 28 years ago.

"We learned at 1157GMT of the death of Andy Caldecott who fell after 250km," said race director Etienne Lavigne.

"He probably died instantly. We learned of the accident at 1131 and the helicopter landed at 1155. His death was confirmed at 1157. His family have been informed."

Last year two motorcyclists died - Spain's Juan Manuel Perez and Italy's Fabrizio Meoni.

Caldecott, who was married with one child, won the Australia Safari four times from 2000 and 2003 and was competing in his third Dakar.

He had retired from riding last year, having failed to raise sufficient funds but was given a surprise Dakar Rally chance by KTM just before Christmas, as replacement for Jordi Duran.

Later in the stage, Spaniard Isidre Esteve Pujol withdrew from the event after falling twice during the stage.

"Pujol is injured but he's not in danger," organisers said.

According to Pujol's team manager Eric Bernard, the Spaniard - who was second in the overall standings before the day's racing started - was evacuated by helicopter to Nouakchott.

Stage nine result
1. Stephane Peterhansel (France), Mitsubishi, 6hrs 52mins 45 secs
2. Luc Alphand (France) Mitsubishi 8:44 behind
3. Giniel de Villiers (South Africa) Volkswagen, 28:00
4. Jutta Kleinschmidt (Germany) Volkswagen, 49:58
5. Nani Roma, Spain, Mitsubishi, 52:39

Overall Standings
1. Stephane Peterhansel (France) Mitsubishi 34hrs 36mins 26 secs
2. Luc Alphand (France) Mitsubishi, 9:16 behind
3. Giniel de Villiers (South Africa) Volkswagen, 54:16
4. Nani Roma (Spain) Mitsubishi, 1:36:14
5. Jutta Kleinschmidt (Germany) Volkswagen, 1:56:24

Stage nine motorbike result
1. Cyril Despres (France) KTM 7hrs 55mins 48secs
2. Marc Coma (Spain) KTM 7:59.55
3. Helder Rodrigues (Portugal) Yamaha 8:02.48
4. Giovanni Sala (Italy) KTM 8:08.31
5. Pal Anders Ullevalseter (Norway) KTM 8:15.24
6. Jordi Viladoms (Spain) KTM 8:18.58
7. Carlo de Gavardo (Chile) KTM 8:23.21
8. Jean de Azevedo (Brazil) KTM 8:29.23
9. Chris Blais (United States) KTM 8:30.28
10. Paulo Goncalves (Portugal) Honda 8:32.18

Overall motorbike standings:
1. Marc Coma (Spain) KTM 38hrs 49mins 15secs
2. Cyril Despres (France) KTM 39:12.02
3. Giovanni Sala (Italy) KTM 39:42.19
4. Pal Anders Ullevalseter (Norway) KTM 40:16.57
5. Carlo de Gavardo (Chile) KTM 40:24.30
6. Chris Blais (United States) KTM 40:48.24

Peterhansel moves into Dakar lead
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Peterhansel kickstarts Dakar bid
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01 Jan 06 |  Motorsport
Sainz off to dream start in Dakar
31 Dec 05 |  Motorsport

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