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British champ Sunderland out of Dakar

SAN JUAN DE MARCONA, Peru (AP) British motorcyclist Sam Sunderland abandoned his Dakar Rally title defense Tuesday due to back pain, and Portuguese soccer coach Andre Villas-Boas was taken to a hospital after his car crashed against a sand dune.

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Rally organizers said Sunderland, the overall leader on a KTM, withdrew near the end of the 330-kilometer (205-mile) special around San Juan de Marcona when he was hurt after a jump.

Adrien van Beveren of France won the fourth stage in about four hours. He also moved into the overall lead, taking a 1:55 advantage over Pablo Quintanilla of Chile.

In the car race, the 40-year-old Villas-Boas was in 43rd position for team Toyota at the time of his accident. There was no word on whether the former Porto, Chelsea and Tottenham coach was staying in the competition.

Another Frenchman, Sebastien Loeb, won the car stage after dueling with defending champion and Peugeot teammate Stephane Peterhansel.

Loeb and Peterhansel swapped checkpoint leads. Loeb finally led through the fourth and last checkpoint while Peterhansel, whose overall lead wasn't in trouble, stopped to change a tire hanging off the rim.

Loeb beat Carlos Sainz by 95 seconds, followed by Peterhansel for a Peugeot sweep of the podium.

Peterhansel leads overall by 6:55 over Loeb.

The former champions who started the day second and third overall dropped out of title contention.

Cyril Despres, the five-time champion on a bike who was lying second in a car, had a broken rear wheel after hitting a rock at about 180 kilometers, and his rally appeared over.

Nasser Al-Attiyah, the two-time champion who won stages one and three, became stuck in sand three times and fell almost an hour off the pace.

Also, Nani Roma, a winner in the car and bike categories, didn't start the stage after crashing at the end of the third on Monday. He was airlifted to a Lima hospital with head and neck injuries. His X-Raid team said he suffered no fractures.

Copyright 2018 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

  
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