Stephane Peterhansel has seen his Dakar Rally lead narrowly trimmed after Nasser Al-Attiyah won stage 11, the La Rioja to San Juan stage.

After crashes and mechanical heartbreak effectively ended Peterhansel's main rivals chances, with Sebastien Loeb rolling his Peugeot while Carlos Sainz suffered a gearbox fault which left him stranded for hours, the French driver inherited an hour lead on Wednesday with defending Dakar rally winner Al-Attiyah acting as Peterhansel's closest rival.

Stage 11 saw Peterhansel get home fourth fastest while Al-Attiyah won the stage for Axion X-Raid Team in his Mini to trim the Peugeot driver's lead to 51m 55s with two stages remaining.

Loeb ended the stage second quickest despite suffering his own technical problems - needing to be toed finish by team-mate Cyril Despres - and remains ninth in the overall standings, 2hr 25m 18s behind Peterhansel.

Former WRC champion Mikko Hirvonen also cut the deficit to the top three after finishing the stage third fastest and is now just over five minutes behind Giniel de Villiers for Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa.



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