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Bikes leader Brabec set to quit Dakar after broken engine

The 27-year-old Honda rider held an eight-minute lead over Frenchman Adrien Van Beveren heading into the day, but his engine broke just 56 kilometres into the stage from San Juan de Marcona to Pisco.

US' biker Ricky Brabec reacts at the end of the Stage 7 of the Dakar 2019 around San Juan de Marcona, Peru, on 14 January 2019. Picture: AFP

PARIS - Overall bike category leader Ricky Brabec's Dakar Rally title hopes all but ended on Tuesday as the American's engine broke early on the eighth stage in Peru, according to the race organisers.

The 27-year-old Honda rider held an eight-minute lead over Frenchman Adrien Van Beveren heading into the day, but his engine broke just 56 kilometres into the stage from San Juan de Marcona to Pisco.

Brabec also abandoned last year's race with a broken engine on the 13th stage, having quit on the 10th stage in 2017.

He was bidding to become the first American in any category to win the Dakar.