Posted: Wednesday January 16, 2013 6:29 PM

Floods halt Dakar; Peterhansel keeps overall lead

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FIAMBALA, Argentina (AP) - Flash floods stopped the Dakar Rally on Wednesday as the shortened 11th stage left Stephane Peterhansel with a commanding lead three days from the finish.

Two swollen rivers forced organizers to stop the cars after 33 miles of the scheduled 137-mile stage on the sand dunes around Fiambala. Robbie Gordon led in his Hummer at that point, followed by Ronan Chabot and Lucio Alvarez.

Peterhansel, who was sixth, was given a provisional 52-minute lead over Giniel de Villiers as he closes in on an 11th career victory in the Dakar.

The motorbikes completed their shortened stage before the rain hit. Defending champion Cyril Despres of France increased his overall lead to 13:16 ahead of KTM teammate Ruben Faria of Portugal, and 18:08 in front of Francisco Lopez of Chile, another KTM rider.

Kurt Caselli of the United States won his second stage in his maiden Dakar.

 
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