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Sainz and Despres double up again in Dakar Rally

Carlos Sainz is justifying his favoritism for this year's edition after claiming the first two stages.
Carlos Sainz is justifying his favoritism for this year's edition after claiming the first two stages.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Defending Dakar Rally champion Carlos Sainz wins second straight stage
  • Motorbikes title holder Cyril Despres also repeats first stage win
  • Both men stretch their leads in the overall standings on 13-stage race

(CNN) -- Defending champions Carlos Sainz and Cyril Despres stretched their leads in this year's Dakar Rally as they doubled up again on the second stage.

Former world rally champion Sainz claimed his second straight win in his Volkwagen, while Despres repeated his first day win in the motorbikes section on his KTM.

Sainz had a one-minute three second advantage over Qatari teammate Nasser Al-Attiyah after the 324km special stage from Cordoba to San Miguel de Tucuman.

Dakar Rally legend Stephane Peterhansel was in third, a further 31 seconds adrift in his BMW.

Sainz leads Peterhansel by three minutes five seconds overall, but admitted his second day victory was not without problems.

For a dozen kilometers, I couldn't see a thing and I had to drive very slowly. Overall, though, this stage suited me rather well
--Carlos Sainz
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"It was a difficult stage to tackle again and I had windscreen wiper problems again -- they wouldn't work properly," he told the official race website.

"For a dozen kilometers, I couldn't see a thing and I had to drive very slowly. Overall, though, this stage suited me rather well."

Three-time motorbikes champion Despres was awarded victory in Sunday's first stage when teammate Ruben Faria was belatedly handed a one-minute penalty for breaking a speed limit in a controlled area.

But he made no mistake in Monday's action, finishing one minute 49 seconds ahead of Marc Coma of Spain with French compatriot David Casteu in third.

It was his 25th stage win in the Dakar Rally and he leads the overall standings from two-time champion Coma by two minutes 35 seconds with Portugal's Faria in third, over six minutes back.

Tuesday's third stage takes the competitors 500 km from San Miguel de Tucuman to San Salvador de Jujuy.

The 33rd edition of the grueling rally is the third staged in South America, with this year's route over 9,500 km and 13 stages in Argentina and Chile.