Peterhansel, Despres near victory in Dakar Rally



PISCO, Peru (AP) — Frenchmen Stephane Peterhansel and Cyril Despres are on the verge of winning the Dakar Rally again after strong finishes Saturday in the next-to-last stage.

Peterhansel, who has won the Dakar nine times, won the 171-mile, 13th stage in his Mini. He was 8:29 ahead of the Toyota of 2009 winner Giniel De Villiers of South Africa. In the overall standings, Peterhansel is 42:57 ahead of Mini teammate Joan Roma of Spain.

In motorbikes, Helder Rodrigues of Portugal won the stage, beating Despres by 47 seconds.

Despres has won Dakar three times and leads defending champion Marc Coma of Spain by 11:03 overall. Rodrigues is way back in third, 1:11:27 behind.