Exclusive to Motorsport.com - Red Bull Dakar blog by Tim Sturtridge.
An unequalled Despres, an unstoppable Peterhansel and an unfortunate Al-Attiyah made the headlines on the 9th stage in Dakar. Roma earned his 2nd stage victory and Nikolaev takes Truck lead.
Rest day in Tucumán, Argentina, gives the Dakar competitors a chance to regroup and get the much needed sleep before they tackle the 9th stage.
Wet Argentinean stage ends early for Cars and officials delay final call. Barreda takes Bikes win in morning, though, while category leaders run astray.
The death of one of the riders overshadowed the seventh day of the 2013 Dakar. Thomas Bourgin died in a freak road accident before the special stage had even started. There was no celebration at the end of the first marathon.
It was a day where the overall leaders held their ground even without winning the first special stage in Chile today. Now those who remain will rest in Calama before taking on their next challenge in the magnificent Andes mountain range.
From Peru to Chile, the change of scenery and terrain saw the X-raid Mini team on the attack, along with Robby Gordon in his Hummer. It also was the first Bike stage win in 2013 for Yamaha; thanks to David Casteu.
Robby Gordon crashed and Carlos Sainz got lost as Nasser Al-Attiyah edged his buggy closer to the leading Mini today. Husqvarna and Yamaha both won big in Bikes, while the Trucks lead finally shuffles.
Olympic Gold medal winner Nasser Al-Attiyah took the Car victory on the third say of Dakar 2013. Local hero Francisco Lopez now has two stage wins in the Bike classification. Triple winner now in Trucks, and Patronelli holds Quad lead.
Stage 2 was a loop around Pisco in Peru, and the one where the Dakar 2013 competitors faced the sand dunes! After an 85 km liaison section, the 242 km special was their first test on the sea of sand.
The scrutineering village has offered the crowds the chance to taste the atmosphere of the race and to be photographed with some of the race vehicles.
Nani Roma, Monster Energy X-raid Team Mini driver, previews the 2013 Dakar. The Spaniard is ready for the demanding contest with the first stage on January 5th in Lima, Peru.
KTM, the brand whose factory teams and bikes have sealed eleven consecutive Dakar Rally victories named their U.S. offroad rider Caselli as the substitute for the injured 2012 DAKAR champion.
X-raid team line-up comprises of six MINIs ALL4 Racing and one BMW X3 CC for the Argentina-Chile-Peru challenge. Drivers include past champions: Peterhansel and Roma.
As the clear winner of Dakar 2012, Gerard De Rooy has embraced the challenge of confirming the domination of Iveco trucks. The Dutch team will have to manage the new generation of Kamaz pilots, which still has little experience of major events.
Following an accident during the rest day on the Dakar 2011, Guerlain Chicherit lost his place in the X-Raid team, then spent a good year in the racing wilderness. However, a proposition from Philippe Gache could breathe new life into the career of...
Nancy Knapp Schilke, Dakar correspondent
Mikko Jalonen, Dakar correspondent