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Al Attiyah takes maiden Dakar title

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Al Attiyah takes maiden Dakar title
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Qatar’s Nasser Al Attiyah was all smiles on Saturday as he celebrated his very first Dakar Rally title.

There was little suspense in the battle for the car title heading into the final stage – a short 181 kilometre special between Cordoba and Buenos Aires.

Going into the day’s drive Al Attiyah had a 48 minute lead over his closest title rival South African Volkswagen teamate Geniel De Villiers.

With little trouble the Qatari managed a second place finish in Buenos Aires to end the rally with a comfortable 49 minute 41second overall advantage over De Villiers, who finished the stage fourth.

It was a little tighter in the bike category, but not much.

Spaniard Marc Coma headed into the 13th and final stage with a 16 minute lead over defending Champion Cyril Despres.

On the easy route into the Argentine capital the Spaniard cooly kept his rival under control.

Coma, who had topped the standings since stage four, lost only lost one and a half minutes to Despres on the finish line to lift his third Dakar title after triumphs in 2006 and 2009.