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Sainz wins Dakar for third time as Brabec takes motorcycle title

Spaniard Carlos Sainz became a triple Dakar Rally champion with the Mini X-Raid team on Friday while American Ricky Brabec took the motorcycle crown for Honda and ended KTM’s 18-year dominance.

Both are the first winners in Saudi Arabia, a country making its debut as host of the gruelling endurance event, but have to reach the formal finish in Qiddiya before the results are official.

Carlos Sainz.

Carlos Sainz.Credit:AP

Brabec is the first American to win the Dakar in any category since it started as a race from Paris through the Sahara desert to the Senegalese capital in West Africa in 1979.

Two-time world rally champion Sainz, whose son and namesake races in Formula One for McLaren, ended the final timed stage with a six-minute-21-second advantage over Qatar’s defending champion Nasser Al Attiyah.

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