Dakar Rally: Stephane Peterhansel snatches overall lead away from Nani Roma
Last Updated: 17/01/14 10:12pm
Stephane Peterhansel: Leads the Dakar Rally by just 26 seconds with one stage left
Stephane Peterhansel took a shock lead at the Dakar Rally after winning the penultimate stage of the race.
The Frenchman seemed to have given up on overall victory a day earlier after being told to hold station behind his Monster Energy X-Raid Mini team-mate Nani Roma.
But Roma slipped back on the 12 stage from El Salvador to La Serena in Chile, finishing third behind Peterhansel and Nasser Al-Attiyah, another Mini driver who is third overall.
The 5-minute 58-second gap between Peterhansel and Roma on the stage means the former, who has won the car category five times and the bike category six times, has a precarious 26-second lead with the 157km final stage to go on Saturday.
"It was a bizarre stage. I even did a U-turn to ask Nani if he wanted to go in front in the dunes, but he didn't want to," Peterhansel said.
"The strategy hasn't changed. The instructions will perhaps be reissued tonight and we will listen to them."
Roma added: "I said last night that I hadn't received the instructions and you saw that today. The race is still open and we will see what happens on Saturday."
Marc Coma continues to hold a commanding lead in the bike category, now being almost two hours ahead of fellow Spaniard Jordi Vildoms.
Joan Barrera Bort had been Coma's nearest challenger but a nightmare day saw him drop all the way down to seventh place overall. Cyril Despres won the stage.