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After a well-deserved break, the competitors had to tackle the seventh stage of the 2018 Dakar Rally, La Paz - Uyuni. It was a 722km marathon stage with 425km of timed section. The landscape changed from dunes to river beds and harder ground.
Hero Motorsports Team Rally rider CS Santosh continued his steady run in the seventh stage and finished the stage in 39th position. With the consistent pace, he also moved up the leaderboard and is in 46th position in the overall standings. Santosh's teammate Oriol Mena was 17th fastest in stage 7 and moved up the leaderboard to 20th position.
Sherco TVS rider Juan Pedrero Garcia showed impressive pace in the seventh stage to register 21st fastest time. He is placed in 17th position in the general rankings. Hero rider Oriol Mena is just 11 minutes 19 seconds behind Garcia in the overall leaderboard.
In the bikes category, stage 7 victory went to Honda rider Joan Barreda Bort. Yamaha rider Adrien van Beveren was the second quickest rider and also took the rally lead. Honda's Kevin Benavides and Joan Barreda Bort rounded off the top three riders in the overall leaderboard.
In the quads category, the seventh stage was won by French rider Axel Dutrie, his maiden stage win in Dakar. The overall rally lead is held by Ignacio Casale ahead of Alexis Hernandez and Jeremias Gonzalez Ferioli.
In the cars category, veteran driver Carlos Sainz recorded his back-to-back stage victory in the 2018 Dakar Rally. He also took the rally lead after his teammate Stephane Peterhansel suffered problems and slipped to third in the overall standings. Qatari driver Nasser Al-Attiyah is in the second position in the general classification.
In the trucks category, the stage 7 victory went to Dutch driver Ton Van Genugten in his Iveco truck. In the overall standings, Russian driver Eduard Nikolaev holds a commanding lead ahead of Argentina driver Federico Villagra.
2018 Dakar Stage 7 Results
Joan Barreda Bort (ESP) Honda
Adrien Van Beveren (FRA) Yamaha
Kevin Benavides (ARG) Honda
Axel Dutrie (FRA) Yamaha
Marcelo Medeiros (BRA) Yamaha
Ignacio Casale (CHL) Yamaha
Carlos Sainz (ESP) Peugeot
Giniel De Villiers (ZAF) Toyota
Nasser Al-attiyah (QAT) Toyota
Ton Van Genugten (NLD) Iveco
Federico Villagra (ARG) Iveco
Eduard Nikolaev (RUS) Kamaz
Stage 7 was the longest test of the 2018 Dakar Rally so far. The challenges for the competitors will double up as it was a marathon stage with crews getting no assistance at the bivouac. The stage 8 will be even tougher with 498km of timed section and just 87km of transport section.