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Dakar skips stage due to dense fog

AFTER stressing through the rugged Atacama Desert, Dakar Rally competitors relaxed on Wednesday by cruising back over the Andes into Argentina thanks to a canceled 11th stage. Rally organizers abandoned the stage the night before because of expected dense fog throughout the 215-kilometer route from Copiapo, Chile, to Fiambala, Argentina.

The caravan of cars, motorbikes, trucks and quad bikes rolled through the San Francisco Pass, at 4,700 meters, the highest the rally has ever reached.

The rally was to head back into the dunes yesterday, in a 12th stage that snakes 253 kilometers from Fiambala to La Rioja.

Carlos Sainz, after four successive stage wins, leads a Volkswagen-dominated car race by more than 27 minutes over teammate Mark Miller of the United States, with another teammate, Giniel De Villiers of South Africa, 41:13 back in third.


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