Carlos Sainz has maintained his 50-minute lead at the 2018 Dakar rally over Peugeot team-mate Stephane Peterhansel as Bernhard ten Brinke claims his first stage victory of the year.

Overall leader Sainz has edged out his lead on Peterhansel by 10 seconds to take 50m45s into the final three stages of the Dakar. Toyota Gazoo Racing’s ten Brinke has clinched victory on stage 11, Belen – Fiambala – Chilecito, by almost four minutes from Cyril Despres with Sainz finishing the stage in third place.

ten Brinke’s stage win has closed the gap on team-mate Nasser Al-Attiyah in the battle for the final podium place in the general classification with the Qatari Toyota driver holding a slender 3m33s advantage on the stage 11 winner.

The drama continued in the bike category as former leader Joan Barreda Bort pulled out of the Dakar due to injury midway through stage 11 after initially getting lost on the stage and losing a huge chunk of time to his front-running rivals.

Red Bull KTM’s Toby Price became the latest name to clinch a stage victory and with it leaped up to third in the general classification and just over seven minutes behind Monster Energy Honda’s Kevin Benavides in second.

Red Bull KTM rider Matthias Walkner has kept hold of his healthy general classification lead despite finishing the stage in fifth place with the Austrian rider taking a 32m00s lead into the final three stages over Benavides.

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