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Saniz blows Dakar title chance-Coma looking good

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Saniz blows Dakar title chance-Coma looking good

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Hopes of retaining the Dakar rally title all but vanished for Carlos Sainz on Wednesday after a navigational nightmare cost the Spanish veteran almost 10 minutes.

Before getting lost on the special stage between Copiapo and Chilecito in Argentina, Sainz had to dig himself out of deep sand and rally leader Nasser Al Attiyah was not about to stop and help out.

Al Attiyah went on to cross the line in fourth place ten minutes faster than his title rival Sainz, twelve and a half minutes now seperate the pair in the overall standings.

On the bikes, Marc Coma picked up his fourth stage win this edition. With only three stages left the Spaniard is now over 18 minutes clear of his closest title rival and is looking likely to win his third Dakar rally. His closest rival is Cyril Despres who came home second on the day to keep alive his slim hopes.