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Spain's Viladoms Captures First Stage of Dakar Rally

Spain's Jordi Viladoms has captured his first stage of the Dakar Rally by winning the motorcycle division in Wednesday's 817-kilometer ride from Tan Tan, Morocco to Zouérat, Mauritania.

Viladoms, aboard a KTM, finished the 394-kilometer timed section in 3:45:45. Teammate and overall leader Marc Coma was second, 57 seconds back with another KTM rider, American Chris Blais, third, one minute behind the winner.

Coma remains the overall leader in the motorcycle standings, 00:12:07 ahead of Isidre Esteve Pujol of Spain. Frenchman David Casteu is third overall nearly 45 minutes behind the leader.

In the car division, Americans Robby Gordon and Andy Grider in a Hummer won with a time of 2:58:57. Frenchman Jean-Louis Schlesser in a self-designed Buggy, was second 17 seconds back. Last year's runner up Giniel De Villiers of South Africa in a Volkswagen was third, nearly seven minutes back.

Carlos Sainz of Spain remains the overall leader, 03:11 ahead of De Villiers. Carlos Sousa of Portugal is third overall more than 14 minutes behind Sainz.

Friday's seventh stage covers 580 kilometers, from Zouérat to Atar, including a 542-kilometer time section. The Rally continues until January 21.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters.