SAN JUAN DE MARCONA, Peru (AP) — Nasser Al-Attiyah won a second stage three days into the Dakar Rally on Monday to remain a contender in the world’s toughest rally.
Al-Attiyah dominated the almost 300-kilometer third stage through and over sand dunes in the Ica Desert to rise to third place.
The two-time champion from Qatar won the opening stage on Saturday but lost time on Sunday because of two flat tires. He endured another flat tire not long after the start from Pisco on Monday but fixed it quickly and still blew away the field en route to San Juan de Marcona.
Al-Attiyah was just under eight minutes behind overall leader and defending champion Stephane Peterhansel of France. Countryman Cyril Despres, the stage two winner, was second, about three minutes behind.
Nani Roma, the 2014 champion from Spain, rolled his car a kilometer from the finish. Though he still managed to cross the finish line, he was taken to hospital with reported neck and head injuries.
In the motorcycle race, British rider Sam Sunderland won the stage to lead overall.
His cause was helped when Joan Barreda, who dominated the second stage, missed a turn and had to double back. He finished almost 28 minutes behind Sunderland.
Sunderland won by more than three minutes on Monday from Kevin Benavides of Argentina.