X-raid stage 10 report

X-RAID'S PETERHANSEL AND CHICHERIT MAINTAIN FOURTH AND FIFTH OVERALL INTO SANTIAGO * Peterhansel and Chicherit set second and fifth fastest times * X-raid's Leonid Novitskiy slips to 11th overall * Carlos Sainz extends overall lead with fastest...

X-RAID'S PETERHANSEL AND CHICHERIT MAINTAIN FOURTH AND FIFTH OVERALL INTO SANTIAGO

* Peterhansel and Chicherit set second and fifth fastest times
* X-raid's Leonid Novitskiy slips to 11th overall
* Carlos Sainz extends overall lead with fastest time into Santiago

SANTIAGO (Chile): Team X-raid GmbH's Stephane Peterhansel and Guerlain Chicherit maintained fourth and fifth positions in the overall standings after the relatively straightforward 10th stage of the 2010 Dakar Rally between La Serena and Santiago in Chile on Tuesday.

Peterhansel and co-driver Jean-Paul Cottret finished the last Chilean stage of this year's Dakar in second position to pull a further 2m 04s away from their fifth-placed team mates, Guerlain Chicherit and Tina Thorner, in the overall classification.

Russia's Leonid Novitskiy and German co-driver Andreas Schulz began the day in ninth overall. They were delayed and came under pressure from a hard-charging Robbie Gordon and Orlando Terranova and the 14th fastest time meant that they ceded two places in the overall rankings and reached the Chilean capital in 11th overall.

Spaniards Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz set their first fastest time of the event so far to extend their overall advantage over Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah and Timo Gottschalk to 10m 06s.

Today's stage began at Terrnas de Socos after the 112km liaison section from La Serena and took place on a balance of twisty and faster rural tracks to finish at Illapel. A second liaison of 236km then guided teams into the overnight halt in Santiago.

The leading quintet was closely matched through the opening 42km, with Sainz leading the way by a handful of seconds from Miller, Peterhansel, Al-Attiyah and Chicherit. Novitskiy was 10th. The BMW trio held third, fourth and 16th through the 100km checkpoint, but Peterhansel moved up to second position over the closing kilometres as none of the front-runners hit major problems.

Tomorrow (Wednesday) the Dakar re-crosses the spine of the Andes mountain range via the Liberatores Pass and moves back into Argentina. A steeply ascending 211km liaison on switchback roads takes teams up into the snowline, adjacent to the towering and majestic peak of Aconcagua, and on through the frontier to the stage start near the Argentinean tourist village of Uspallata in the Mendoza province.

The day's varied stage reaches an altitude of around 3,000 metres above sea level before beginning a descent into the overnight halt at San Juan in the shadow of the Andes foothills to the west of the pampas. The city is the capital of the Argentine province of the same name in the Cuyo region and is located in the Tulum Valley, west of the San Juan River.

-source: x-raid

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Series Dakar
Drivers Carlos Sainz , Andreas Schulz , Stéphane Peterhansel , Jean-Paul Cottret , Tina Thorner , Guerlain Chicherit , Timo Gottschalk , Orlando Terranova , Lucas Cruz