Dakar Rally leader booted out

Qatar’s Nasser Al Attiyah saw his Dakar Rally hopes crushed when he was kicked off Thursday’s event. The...

File picture: South African Giniel De Villiers in the colours of his previous team. Picture: SAPA

<country-region w:st="on"><place w:st="on">Qatar</country-region>’s Nasser Al Attiyah saw his Dakar Rally hopes crushed when he was kicked off Thursday’s event.

The BMW driver, who led the overall standings by over seven minutes, skipped nine mandatory way points on the 178km run.

<country-region w:st="on"><place w:st="on">South Africa</country-region>’s Giniel De Villiers, who was second on the day, was promoted to stage winner and inherited the overall lead.

Mark Miller was promoted to second, with <country-region w:st="on"><place w:st="on">Spain</country-region>’s Carlos Sainz to third.<?xml:namespace prefix="o" ns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office"?>

Defending champion Cyril Despres clinched the motorcycle stage, ahead of overall leader Marc Coma of <country-region w:st="on"><place w:st="on">Spain</country-region> with Jordi Viladoms finishing third.