Al-Attiyah wins 3rd stage of Dakar, Peterhansel tops…

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He finished the sixth stage at 38th position and overall he stands at 51st place at the end of the first half of the Dakar Rally. Argentina's Kevin Benevides was in second place, a minute behind the leader.

Loeb, who won Tuesday's stage for Peugeot and was second overall, halted five kilometers into the 266km stage from San Juan de Marcona to Arequipa, the last overnight stop before the rally enters Bolivia and the high-altitude stages. The next stage will move the rally from La Paz on 13th January for its 1st marathon stage of 425 km to Uyuni. Despite the hard terrain, TVS Sherco riders navigated the stage expertly and gaining multiple positions. Sherco TVS' lone surviving rider Joan Pedrero, however, led the Indian contingent as he went on to complete Stage 6 in 16th position and 15th overall. His expertise not only helped him, but competitors too, who followed him on the hard trail to ensure they don't make any mistakes.

Barreda is now fourth, just 7 minutes and 30 seconds out of the lead-a very manageable deficit, while teammate Benavides inched closer to the rally lead.

On the other hand, the 774km stretch forced Aravind KP from TVS to abandon the race after falling off his bike and breaking his ankle. After having been 33rd in the overall standings after the first four stages, his unfortunate injury saw him drop out of the classification. As a result, the trucks and cars were the first to discover the stage, even before their riders, as they made their way through the sands of Tanaka, traversing through 30km or so of mountain dunes. Joan Pedrero continued his run of strong performances, finishing in 18th place. Aravind is now being brought to La Paz, Bolivia, for further treatment.

"The day was tough", Brabec said. Staying true to that tradition, the first part of the 6th stage of the Dakar Rally from Arequipa to La Paz had to be cancelled owing to bad weather and foggy conditions for the riders.

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A challenging stage for the cars today included a 15,500ft-high passage to overcome.

The French ace's hopes of adding a Dakar to his nine world rally championship crowns at the third attempt had appeared encouraging after climbing to second in the standings.

The Honda rider ended the stage a minute and 57 seconds clear of his Yamaha rival.

With the rally set to be in higher altitudes and fast-paced routes for the next three stages in Bolivia before moving on to Argentina, Pedrero is primed to take advantage of his good start to the 2018 Dakar and break into the top 10.