Qatar's Al-Attiyah wins first Dakar special

Hail (Saudi Arabia) (AFP) – Qatari Nasser Al-Attiyah won the first special of the Dakar Rally on Sunday to extend his race lead after victory in the prologue.


The 51-year-old, looking to win the race for the fourth time, finished the stage 12 minutes and seven seconds quicker than nine-time world rally champion Sebastien Loeb in second place.

The 333-kilometre loop around northern Saudi Arabia saw several competitors suffer navigational difficulties, resulting in large time gaps.

Record 14-time Dakar winner Stephane Peterhansel, nicknamed "Monsieur Dakar", lost a lot of time after a puncture to his Audi.

Australian Daniel Sanders extended his early lead in the bikes category, beating Chilean Pablo Quintanilla by 3mins and 7secs on Sunday.