Spanish driver Carlos Sainz wins Dakar Rally for fourth time to become oldest winner

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Spanish driver Carlos Sainz wins Dakar Rally for fourth time to become oldest winner

Carlos Sainz, 61, is the oldest driver to win the Dakar Rally
Carlos Sainz, 61, is the oldest driver to win the Dakar RallyAFP
Veteran Spanish driver Carlos Sainz won the gruelling Dakar Rally for a fourth time on Friday, becoming at 61 the oldest winner of the race.

The two-time world rally champion had been all but guaranteed success when closest rival Sebastien Loeb was stranded in the desert for over an hour in Thursday's penultimate stage.

Earlier American Ricky Brabec had taken the honours in the motorbike category for a second time.

The 32-year-old Honda rider held an advantage of 10 minutes and 53 seconds, as the 12th stage brought the curtain down, over Botswana's Ross Branch on a Hero.

Frenchman Adrien van Beveren claimed his first podium finish in the rally to fill third spot.

Brabec had made history in 2020 when he became the first American to win the crown, but he was just as excited about doubling his tally.

"I had chills down my spine as I crossed the finishing line," he said.

"I still do not have words for how I feel, save it was a smooth ride, the team was unreal.

"I do not know how we put together such a perfect Dakar, I never fell once."

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