Rest day in the Dakar

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Rest day in the Dakar

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A makeshift bivouac in the desert surrounding Copiapo in Chile provided a welcomed shelter for competitors of the gruelling Dakar Rally.

Sunday marked the halfway stage of the race and it was a day of rest for the field.

Leading the bike category after the first week is Frenchman Cyril Despres while for the cars it’s Dakar legend and nine-time winner (six times on a motorcycle and three times in a car) Stephane Peterhansel, also of France.

Peterhansel said: “Not many mistakes, not many attacks either, but the main thing is the not many mistakes. I had two flat tyres that cost me some time but the Mini countryman is fantastic. I haven’t come across one major problem since the beginning of the race and I have only pushed it really hard a few times when I have felt the need.”

Although it is a rest day for the competitors the support teams have been hard at it making sure everything is tip-top for the second half of the race.

Action resumes on Monday when the 125 motorcycles, 123 cars, 21 quads and 71 trucks tackle the 400 kilometres of unforgiving terrain of the Atacama desert from Copiapo to Antofagasta.