Spanish driver Carlos Sainz wins Dakar Rally for third time

AFP

The 57-year-old led from the third stage and crossed the finish line in Qiddiya 6min 21sec ahead of nearest challenger and reigning champion Nasser al-Attiyah of Qatar, who had managed to cut Sainz's lead to just 24 seconds on Tuesday but fell back after navigation blunders.

Stephane Peterhansel was third at 9 min 58 sec behind in his Mini. Both the Frenchman and Sainz won four stages each in the marathon 12-day, 7,800-kilometre (4,800-mile) race.

Ricky Brabec won the motorbike section for Honda, becoming the first US rider to triumph in the gruelling race.