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Dakar Rally: Torrential rain hits stage eight

Dakar Rally: Torrential rain hits stage eight
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Adverse weather conditions played havoc with stage eight of the Dakar Rally from Salta to Tucaman in the north west of Argentina on Saturday.

Torrential rain forced race directors to cut short the stage, which was won by Spain’s Joan Barreda – his third win on the bike this edition.

Former overall leader Olivier Pain of France and second placed Francesco Lopez of Chile were part of a group of wayward riders who lost almost half an hour.

The pair also lost their places at the top of the leaderboard which is now occupied by Frenchman David Casteu who was sixth on the day.

Compatriot and defending champion Cyril Despres moved to second overall after an 11th place finish while Pain is now fifth with Lopez fourth, 16 and 12 minutes off the pace respectively.

Former extreme ski world champion Guerlain Chicherit of France took top honours in the car category as he was the fastest of only four teams able to complete the stage.

Due to the rain the rest of the field were given the same time as the fourth team to cross the line, which was defending champion Stephane Peterhansel.

The Frenchman remains overall leader three minutes and 14 seconds clear of 2011 Winner Nasser Al-Attiyah of Qatar.

Sunday is a well-deserved rest day for the teams, who resume action on Monday.