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Peterhansel Closing in On Another Dakar Rally Title

Frenchman Stephane Peterhansel is just 16 kilometers away from celebrating another Dakar Rally title after arriving in the Senegalese capital Saturday with a seven-minute advantage.

Peterhansel, in a Mitsubishi, finished 11th in the penultimate stage, more than eight minutes behind stage winner Carlos Sainz of Spain in a Volkswagen. However, the French driver leads compatriot and defending champion Luc Alphand by seven minutes, 16 seconds in the overall standings.

In the motorcycle division, Brazilian rider Jean de Azevedo won Saturday's stage on a KTM, finishing two minutes, five seconds ahead of Polish rider Jacek Czachor. Latvia's Janis Vinters was third, more than five minutes behind the Brazilian.

French rider Cyril Despres aboard a KTM leads compatriot David Casteu by more than 36 minutes. American Chris Blais is third overall nearly one hour behind the leader.

Sunday's final stage is a 93-kilometer ride around the Rose Lake in Dakar, with a 16 kilometer timed section. If Peterhansel wins Sunday, it would be his third title in the car category. He has also won the motorcycle crown six times.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.