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Peterhansel, Despres retain Dakar titles

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SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) - Frenchmen Stephane Peterhansel and Cyril Despres have defended their car and motorbike titles in the Dakar Rally.

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Peterhansel, leading the race since the second stage on Jan. 6, became the most successful driver in the world's toughest rally with his fifth victory to go along with a record six on a motorbike.

He's the first person to win the car category twice since the rally moved from Africa to South America in 2009 for security reasons.

With a commanding overall lead, Peterhansel cruised to eighth behind Mini teammate Nani Roma, the winner of the 14th stage into Santiago on Saturday. Overall, Peterhansel beat 2009 winner Giniel de Villiers of South Africa by 42 minutes, and by nearly 90 over another Mini teammate, third-placed Leonid Novitskiy of Russia.

Despres' fifth title on a KTM tied him in rally history with the inaugural Dakar winner, countryman Cyril Neveu. They're second only to Peterhansel in bike titles.

Despres was 14th, four minutes behind stage winner Ruben Faria of Portugal. In the overall, Despres was 10:43 ahead of Faria and 18:48 ahead of Chile's Francisco Lopez.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2015
The Associated Press
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