Rallying: Reduced entry to Arc: Paris-Dakar celebrations curtailed

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The Independent Online
ONLY seven of the 100 drivers expected to finish the gruelling Paris-Dakar Rally will enjoy the anticipated celebratory drive along the Champs-Elysees around Place de la Concorde and under the Arc de Triomphe tomorrow morning.

The French capital will be crowded with schoolchildren attending a jamboree, so the city police have restricted the usual parade, ending at the starting point of the 8,500-mile, three-week marathon, to the top three finishers in the car and motorcycle classes as well as the first truck. The rally will now finish at EuroDisney.

The decision is disappointing for the bulk of the survivors from the 231 starters. 'The thing that has kept me going has been the dream of driving around the Arc de Triomphe,' said the French motorcyclist Michel Antony, who has finished a provisional sixth. 'What is the point of the Paris-Dakar-Paris if you end the rally 50 kilometres short of the city?'

Leading the chosen few to the Arc will be the Frenchman Pierre Lartigue, the provisional winner of the rally in a Citroen. His team-mate, Hubert Auriol, the winner of the rally two years ago, is expected to finish second.

PARIS-DAKAR RALLY (16th stage, Motril, Sp to Lastour, Fr, with special stage from Motril to Almeria): Cars: 1 P Lartigue (Fr) Citroen 75km in 49min 34sec; 2 H Auriol (Fr) Citroen at 2:23; 3 J Riviere (Fr) +3:15; 4 R Dalmau (Sp) Mercedes 4:44; 5 M Traglio (It) Nissan 5:49. Overall: 1 Lartigue 43hr 41min 52sec; 2 Auriol at 1:30:21; 3 P Wambergue (Fr) Buggy +12:14:34; 4 H Masuoka (Japan) Mitsubishi +14:21:18; 5 F Germanetti (It) Nissan 16:56:58. Motorcycles: 1 J Arcarons (Sp) Cagiva 48min 50sec; 2 E Orioli (It) Caviga at 1:42; 3 A Cavandoli (It) KTM +3:39. Overall: 1 Orioli 49:08:07; 2 Arcarons at 1:15; 3 Meoni +5:17:13.