A stage for Dakar champions

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A stage for Dakar champions

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Marc Coma and Cyril Despres continued to trade stage wins in this year’s Dakar Rally.

Stage seven went to Spain’s Coma following the 260-mile loop that started and ended in Copiapo, Chile.

Defending champion Coma gained two minutes and three seconds on Despres in the overall standings, but the Frenchman, who came home second, still leads by 7 minutes and 48 seconds.

Yamaha’s Portuguese rider Helder Rodrigues kept himself in the final podium placing overall thanks to a fourth place finish on Stage seven.

Rodrigues is just under 50 minutes back in third.

Nasser Al Attiyah took top stage honours in the car category.

The Qatari defending champion steered his hummer across the line 7.30 minutes ahead of American team-mate Robbie Gordon.

After two troubled days in the sand already Al Attiyah is 43 minutes off the pace 6th overall while Gordon has moved up to third 13 minutes off leader and Dakar legend Stephane Peterhansel.

Poland’s Krzysztof Holowczyc remains second 11 minutes back.