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Sainz conquers dust and sand to lead Dakar


VW in command after two days of South American marathon rally.

Former world rally champion, Carlos Sainz, leads the 2009 Dakar marathon rally which began in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Saturday.

Volkswagen Touareg driver Sainz took the lead after winning stage two on Sunday despite being brought to a standstill by dust and having an incident with a motorbike.

BMW X-Raid driver, Nassar Al-Attiyah, led after day one, and was leading on day two until he lost six minutes when he went off-course in a sandy section and couldn’t find the route again.

Sainz said day two was “very difficult with the dust and the motorbikes. There were places where you basically had to stop. In one of these places I found a motorbike, and I hope it's okay."

His VW teammate, South African Giniel de Villiers, runs second, 2m 19s behind Sainz. He dropped up to two minutes when he lost his way in deep sand.

Last year’s winner Stephane Peterhansel runs third in the new Mitsubishi Racing Lancer after finishing second to Sainz on day two.

Overall placings: 1. Carlos Sainz, VW; 2. Giniel de Villiers, VW; 3. Stephane Peterhansel, Mitsubishi; 4. Nassar Al-Attiyah, BMW; 5. Joan Roma, Mitsubishi; 6. Luc Alphand, Mitsubishi.

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