Cyril Despres has moved into a comfortable lead on the Dakar Rally after his closest rival David Casteu was forced to withdraw with injury.

Despres entered the fifth stage with a nine minute advantage over his fellow Frenchman, but a fall for Casteau would see him airlifted to hospital where he was diagnosed with a broken leg.

Despres now commands a 37 minute lead over local rider and stage winner Francisco Lopez Contardo who won his second stage of the event to leap from seventh to second.

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Portugal's Helder Rodrigues is currently in third position, ahead of Alain Duclos and Pal Anders Ullevalseter.

Meanwhile, reigning champion Marc Coma's event continued to go from bad to worse after suffering a 40-minute delay due to a blow tyre. The Spaniard was already battling back from a 22-minute penalty, but now finds himself in eighth overall and more than an hour adrift of KTM team-mate Despres.