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Dakar Rally: Masuoka Wins 3rd Stage; Peterhansel Overall Leader - 2003-01-04

Japan's Hiroshi Masuoka has won the third stage of the Paris to Dakar Rally, an eight-kilometer drive around the beach of Castellon, Spain.

The Mitsubishi driver finished the course in six minutes, 42 seconds. French driver and overall leader Stephane Peterhansel, also in a Mitsubishi Pajero, was second, five seconds back. Belgium's Stephane Henrard was third, 13 seconds behind the Japanese driver.

Peterhansel remains the overall leader, 29 seconds ahead of Matsuoka. South Africa's Giniel De Villiers is third overall, 33 seconds behind the leader.

In the motorcycle division, Cyril Despres of France won aboard a KTM with a time of six minutes, 20 seconds. Eric Verhoef of the Netherlands was second, two seconds back, with Marc Coma of Spain third.

Frenchman Richard Sainct is the overall leader, 10 seconds ahead of Alfie Cox of South Africa. Despres is third overall, 18 seconds behind the leader.

The drivers and riders will spend Saturday aboard a transport ship to Tunis, where the Rally resumes on Sunday with a 463-kilometer stage. The 8,500-kilometer event ends in Sharm el Shiekh, Egypt, January 19.