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Sainz wins Dakar for third time as Brabec takes motorcycle title

SA's Giniel de Villiers finishes fifth and Kirsten Landman becomes first African woman to finish the race on a bike

17 January 2020 - 14:06 By Reuters
Mini JCW X-Raid Team's Carlos Sainz celebrates after winning the Dakar Rally.
Mini JCW X-Raid Team's Carlos Sainz celebrates after winning the Dakar Rally.
Image: Reuters

Spaniard Carlos Sainz became a triple Dakar Rally champion with the Mini X-Raid team on Friday, and American Ricky Brabec took the motorcycle crown for Honda and ended KTM's 18-year dominance.

Both are the first winners in Saudi Arabia, a country making its debut as host of the gruelling endurance event, but have to reach the formal finish in Qiddiya before the results are official.

Brabec is the first American to win the Dakar in any category since it started as a race from Paris through the Sahara desert to the Senegalese capital in west Africa in 1979.

SA's Kirsten Landman claimed 55th in the bike category to become the first African woman to finish the gruelling race on two wheels.

Two times world rally champion Sainz, whose son and namesake races in Formula One for McLaren, ended the final timed stage with a six minute and 21 seconds advantage over Qatar's defending champion, Nasser Al Attiyah, in a SA-built Toyota Hilux.

Sainz, 57, also won in 2010 and 2018, when the rally was held in South America.

His three victories have been with different car manufacturers, the first coming with Volkswagen and the second in a Peugeot.

Triple champion Al Attiyah won the final stage to finish as overall runner-up for Toyota with Frenchman Stephane Peterhansel, a 13 times winner on two and four wheels, completing the top three in his 31st Dakar

SA's Giniel de Villiers (Toyota Hilux) finished fifth overall in his Toyota Hilux, one hour and seven minutes behind.

Former two-time Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso (Toyota Hilux) was 13th in his Dakar debut.