Haradh, Saudi Arabia: Defending champion Nasser Al Attiyah again had to be content with a second-place finish as Stephane Peterhansel snatched a dramatic 11th stage of the Dakar Rally on Thursday when he pipped the Qatari to the line by just 10 seconds.
Frenchman Peterhansel won his fourth stage of this year's race in his mini ahead of Toyota's Al-Attiyah in Haradh, and finished more than eight minutes ahead of overall leader Carlos Sainz.
Sainz remains 10 minutes 17 seconds ahead of Al Attiyah going into Friday's final 374-kilometre stage between Haradh and Qiddiya, and the Spaniard is still on course for his third Dakar victory.
"We paid dearly for our mistake yesterday,” said Al Attiyah. “Now we'll battle Stéphane for second place. Making it so far is already great, there's one stage to go and we'll see how it goes."
Peterhansel, who has won the rally 13 times (seven in a car six on a bike), is just six seconds behind Al Attiyah, who sits second.