Dakar 2018, Stage 8: Meo outduels Brabec for win
Antoine Meo topped the longest stage of the 2018 Dakar Rally in the bike class as the gap between Adrien van Beveren and Kevin Benavides has shrunk to 22 seconds.
The eighth stage, the longest one of the event with its 498km distance, was run between Bolivian cities Uyuni and Tupiza.
KTM duo Meo and Toby Price were in first and second early on, but Honda's Ricky Brabec overcame both and led by the seventh of 10 waypoints.
The battle between Meo and Brabec remained close until the finish until the American lost a miniute in the final split, allowing Meo to pick up his second win in three stages.
Price completed the top three, which was separated by less than three minutes.
The day saw frontrunners Xavier de Soultrait and Pablo Quintanilla both fall, the former crashing 171 kilometres into the stage, and retiring from the event.
He joins fellow Yamaha rider Franco Caimi on the retirement list, leaving van Beveren as the Japanese brand's only remaining hope for a strong result.
Van Beveren had a quiet day and, while he stayed first overall, he lost most of his advantage as Kevin Benavides is now only 22 seconds behind.
Joan Barreda, who injured his knee on Stage 7, was the slowest of the frontrunners as he ended the day exactly 12 minutes behind Meo.
While he dropped behind KTM duo Matthias Walkner and Price to sit fifth overall, he was only three minutes slower than van Beveren and his gap to the lead is eight minutes.
With Dakar cancelling Stage 9 due to poor weather conditions, the competition will resume on Tuesday.
Vitse leads Medeiros, Casale
Simon Vitse became the sixth different stage winner in the quad class, the 27-year-old winning with a gap of 3m27s.
The Frenchman, who made his Dakar debut last year, secured his maiden stage win of the event.
Ignacio Casale, who holds a comfortable overall lead, was second for most of the day only to fall behind Marcelo Medeiros in the end, and settle for third.
Standings after Stage 8 (Top10, Bike class)
|1||Adrien van Beveren||Yamaha||27h22m03s|
|10||Johnny Aubert||Gas Gas||1h09m02s|
Dakar cancels Monday's Tupiza - Salta stage
Dakar 2018, Stage 8: Peterhansel quickest, Sainz in control
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|Sub-event||Stage 8: Uyuni - Tupiza|