Dakar Rally 2010: Touareg trio storms to the top

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Dakar Rally 2010
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D he Volkswagen team ensured on the fifth stage of the 2010 Dakar a small preliminary decision made. On the second-longest stage of the Dakar from Copiapó to Antofagasta, Mark Miller secured victory in the day's standings ahead of his two brand colleagues Carlos Sainz and Nasser Al Attiyah.

'It was a great stage today But I haven't done anything unusual, 'said the US boy in surprise in the Chilean bivouac that evening. 'It was a tough stage with a lot of stones, but everything went well for us. We just try to get into the top 5 every day and not take too much risk.'

Drama about Peterhansel

For competitor X-Raid it came to the worst possible scenario on the 483 kilometers. Ironically, on the X3 from Spearhead Stéphane Peterhansel, the drive shaft tore. Co-pilot Jean-Paul Cottret still tried everything to repair the defective part. In the end, however, all efforts failed and the nine-time Dakar winner only had to drag himself to the finish with rear-wheel drive.

'We only reinstalled the drive shaft yesterday and after 120 kilometers it broke,' explained team manager Sven Quandt. 'It is very difficult to finish this stage with only two drive wheels. It was a good performance to finish without losing too much time.' In the end, the Frenchman lost more than two hours and thus retired early from the race for the Dakar victory.

Carlos Sainz takes the lead

The new front runner is VW driver Carlos Sainz, who did not win the day after the fifth stage due to a tire damage. With second place in the stage standings, he was able to extend his lead over team-mate Nasser Al Attiyah to 4:37 minutes. Today's winner Mark Miller with the third Touareg is now third overall, 9:39 minutes behind the top.

As the best non-VW, the previous day's winner Robby Gordon moved up to fourth overall. The Hummer driver set the fourth-best time on the fifth stage, but is almost an hour behind the Touareg trio.

Three-way battle for fourth place

The American fights with Mitsubishi driver Carlos Sousa and the Polish Krzysztof Holowczyc (Nissan) for the unofficial title 'best of the rest'. The chasing trio is after five testsless than 17 minutes apart.

Best placed X-Raid man is now Guerlain Chicherit in eighth place. With a gap of 1:37 hours, the Frenchman is just as unable to intervene in the battle for the top positions as his teammate Peterhansel, who is now over two hours behind

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