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Published on January 10th, 2011 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez

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VW Dominates 2011 Dakar Rally

Volkswagen continued their dominance in the world’s most gruellingrally, the Dakar. Not one but 3 VW Touaregs were in the final standings on the9th of January 2011. VW driver Nasser Al-Attiyah and VW team mateveteran driver Carlos Sainz had a time difference of just 82 seconds after Al-Attiyah completed the 208km route from Arica to Antofagasta in a time of twohours, 20 minutes and 57 seconds.

Nasser Al-Attiyah won the seventh stage of the Rally on Sunday the 9th, edgingteammate Giniel de Villiers.

In the bikes category, Francisco Lopez Contardo of Chile won thestage to delight home fans, 2:21 ahead of defending champion Cyril Despres and 3:45 ahead of overall leader Marc Coma. Coma’s overall lead was 7:24 over Despres and 18:27 in front of Lopez Contardo.

The seventh stage across  the Atacama desert followed Saturday’s rest day and marked the midway point of the rally, which finishes Jan. 16 in Buenos Aires — where it began on Jan. 1.

Coma still maintains the overall lead, now 8:48 seconds ahead of Despres.

Stage 6 consisted of 265 km on the road, and another 456 km of special with plenty of dunes and the first Dakar 2011 encounter with the dreaded fesh-fesh, the tricky talc-like soft sand. After more than 4,500 km of challenging landscape in South America, the riders finally have a rest day today (Saturday).

The 2011 Dakar continues on Sunday; Stage 7 will take riders from Arica to Antofagasta. The stage offers a 208-km liaison and a mammoth 631 km in two stages of special down to the shores of the Pacific.

The Dakar riders can look forward to 40 km of endurance style riding and plenty of dunes that is going to test both their skill as riders and their physical and mental fitness.


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