Trucker Martin van den Brink won the eleventh stage of the Dakar Rally on Thursday. It is the third Dutch victory in a row in the desert rally. Classification leader Janus van Kasteren lost a lot of time and still has a small lead over Van den Brink.
Van den Brink was by far the strongest in the 427-kilometer stage from Shaybah to Rub Al Khali in Saudi Arabia. De Gelderlander left the Czech Martin Macík behind for more than eighteen minutes. The Dutchman Pascal de Baar finished third shortly behind Macík.
Van Kasteren lost a lot of time because he got stuck in a dune pan. In the end, the Brabander finished fourth, more than 21 minutes behind Van den Brink. In the standings, Van Kasteren is only one minute and twelve seconds ahead of Van den Brink.
The last few days there was also Dutch success in the Dakar Rally. On Wednesday, De Baar took the stage win and Van Kasteren won the day before. The Dakar Rally has three more stages and ends on Sunday.
In the cars, Sébastien Loeb booked his fourth day victory in a row. The Frenchman kept his compatriot Guerlain Chicherit and the Swede Mattias Ekström behind him. The lead in the standings remained in the hands of the Qatari Nasser Al Attiyah, who is heading for his fifth overall victory.
Luciano Benavides won the first part of the marathon stage with the motorcycles. The Argentinian, who booked his third stage victory, was just under two minutes ahead of the Australians Daniel Sanders (second) and Toby Price (third). In the standings, American Skyler Howes took over the lead from Kevin Benavides.
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