Alonso pipped to the win by Serradori

Racing from Wadi Al Dawasir to Wadi Al Dawasir over 477ms of dunes and canyons, double F1 World Champion Alonso, competing in his first-ever Dakar, set the pace.The Spaniard, driving a Toyota Hilux, was sitting top of the pile at the end of the stage with only Serradori still in the hunt.

The Frenchman took 3h48m to complete the stage, beating Alonso by 4m04.

“I’m absolutely delighted,” said Serradori. “It’s a wonderful story. Yesterday’s stage was very complicated – we made a mistake and paid a heavy price. This morning, we pulled our socks up and left everyone behind us.

“I’d like to dedicate this victory to Paulo because I’m a former biker. It’s not easy to get motivated after a day like that and my co-pilot Fabien was there as well. But there are two fighters in the car and I’m very happy with this result.”

Giniel de Villiers was fourth quickest in his Toyota Hilux while Dakar leader Carlos Sainz opened the stage on Monday and almost immediately began to lose time.

He was overhauled on the stage by Nasser Al-Attiyah and Stéphane Peterhansel with defending champion reducing Sainz’s overall to 6m40.

South Africa’s De Villiers remains sixth overall, his deficit to Sainz reduced to 53m12.

Yasir Seaidan lost time when he got his Mini stuck in the sand.

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Trucks and SSVs

Andrey Karginov dominated Stage 8 in the truck classification, taking the win to extend his overall lead to team-mate Anton Shibalov.

He is 27m up on his Kamaz team-mate.

In the SSVs, Mitchell Guthrie pulled out a lead over the chasing pack to take Monday’s win ahead of Reinaldo Varela.

Guthrie only took to the start thanks to Dakar legend Cyril Despres who gave his Red Bull Off-Road team-mate his own engine so that the American could continue in the rally and gain experience. Despres bowed out.

Casey Currie bled time throughout the 477km allowing Lopez to close to within 15m of the general standings leader.

Gerard Farrés had a nightmare day as he crashed into a rival competitor and was left stranded while waiting for his assistance crew.

General classification top ten

1 Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz – Mini – 31h56m52s
2 Nasser Al-Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel – Toyota – 32h3m32s – 6m40s
3 France Stephane Peterhansel and Paulo Fiuza – Mini – 32h10m1s – 13m9s
4 Yazeed Al-Rajhi and Konstantin Zhiltsov – Toyota – 32h29m17s – 32m25s
5 Orlando Terranova and Bernardo Graue – Mini – 32h39m54s – 43m2s
6 Giniel de Villiers and Alex Haro – Toyota – 32h50m4s – 53m12s
7 Mathieu Serradori and Fabian Lurquin – Century – 32h59m34s – 1h2m42s
8 Bernhard ten Brinke and Tom Colsoul – Toyota – 33h3m52s – 1h7m0s
9 Yasir Seaidan and Alexy Kuzmich – Mini – 34h34m10s – 2h37m18s
10 Wei Han and Min Liao – Hanwei – 35h3m12s – 3h6m20s

Source: The South African