Tiainen pays the price

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The Independent Online

Kari Tiainen saw his Dakar Rally hopes end yesterday when he crashed on the 12th stage and suffered a broken forearm. The Finn also suffered a suspected fractured collarbone when he crashed in the Mauritanian desert between Tidjkja and Tichit.

The KTM motorcyclist was behind the leaders in the overall standings after suffering wheel problems earlier in the 24th running of the rally.

The South African Alfie Cox, who had his first win in the loop stage around Atar, won his second stage in a time of six hours 30 minutes.

Juan Roma was 40 seconds behind and the motorcycle category leader, Italy's Fabrizio Meoni, made it a KTM one-two-three, finishing just over one minute behind Cox.

Britain's Dave Hammond improved his overall standing to 15th after taking his Husaberg to 17th on the day, 96 minutes behind Cox on arrival at Tichit.

Cox said: "Up until the refuel point it was fast, but for the last 75 kilometres I really pushed."

The Frenchman Jean-Pierre Fontenay led home three other Mitsubishis as he took the 538km-stage car category win.

Germany's Jutta Kleinschmidt, last year's winner, moved up to second overall with second place on the stage to Fontenay, but the race leader, Hiroshi Masuoka from Japan, finished the day in third, keeping him at the top of the overall standings ahead of Kleinschmidt.

The Toyota mechanic Daniel Vergnes was killed when his support vehicle crashed. Three team-mates – Britain's Sheona Dorson-King, Belgium's Christophe Van Riet and France's Benont Agoyer – were flown to a hospital in Nouakchott.

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