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Dramatic Dakar Rally in pictures

Motorsport

The world's toughest rally made no exceptions to its reputation this year, dishing up 8400km worth of challenging terrain between Lima in Peru and Santiago in Chile.

Frenchman Stephane Peterhansel won the car section in his Mini, ahead of South Africa's Giniel de Villiers (Imperial Toyota Hilux), while Cyril Despres took top honours in the bike category.

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South African hero Giniel de Villiers finished the Dakar Rally in second place overall. Here we see him taming the Atacama desert in Peru on Stage 3.Giniel de Villiers on Stage 2 in Peru.Bike race winner Cyril Despres makes sense of the vast Peruvian desert on Stage 2. Image: AFPJavier Pizzolito of Argentina tackles the sand of Stage 2 in Peru. Pizzolito finished in eighth overall. Image: AFPGuerlain Chicherit of France (who came eighth overall) tackles Stage 4, between Nazca and Arequipa, Peru. Image: AFPSouth African Giniel De Villiers thunders along the beach on Stage 4, between Nazca and Arequipa, Peru.Nasser Al-Attiyah of Qatar, a strong contender who was forced to retire, steers his Buggy through stage 4 between Nazca and Arequipa, Peru. Image: AFPRobby Gordon next to his Hummer after rolling his Hummer in the sand on Stage 4. Image: AFPOlivier Pain, who came sixth in the bike category, was pictured kicking up the dust on Stage 5, between Arequipa in Peru and Arica in Chile. Image: ReutersAndres Carevic rides past as Mini's driver Nani Joan Roma (R) of Spain is assisted by Toyota's Nani Roma (right) got stuck on Stage 6 and he forced the same fate on Giniel de Villiers, who could not see his rival’s Mini until it was too late. Image: AFPKTM biker Marco Reinike took a tumble on Stage 6. Image: AFPKTM rider Cyril Despres of France won the bike race. Here we see him flying through the mud on Stage 8, between Salta and Tucuman, Argentina. Image: AFPGuilherme Spinelli of Brazil got stuck in a flooded river during Stage 8, between Salta and Tucuman, Argentina. Image: AFPSouth African Riaan Van Niekerk kicks up the mud on Stage 8, between Salta and Tucuman, Argentina. Image: AFPBike race winner Cyril Despres checks his machine before Stage 8. Image: AFPLeonid Nivitskiy on Stage 9. The Russian finished the Dakar in seventh overall. Image: AFPHelder Rodrigues on Stage 10, between Cordoba and La Rioja, Argentina. Image: AFPDakar winner Stephane Perterhansel of France drives over a dune between La Rioja and Fiambala, Argentina. Image: AFPRuben Faria (who finished the bike race in second place) was seen making waves on Stage 10. Image: AFPYou can think up your own caption for this one. Image: AFPThe Imperial Toyota service crew work on Giniel de Villiers' Hilux after stage 11. Image: QuickpicAmerican Robby Gordon tackles Stage 12, between Fiambala iand Copiapo. Image: AFPVictor Mastromatteo, of Argentina, got stuck on his Protoptipo in a river during Stage 11 between La Rioja and Fiambala, Argentina. Image: AFPCOPIAPO, ARGENTINA - JANUARY 18:  A Chilean supporter waits for the competitors during stage 13 from Copiapo to La Serena during the 2013 Dakar Rally on January 18, 2013 in Copiapo, Argentina. (Photo Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)  *** BESTPIX ***SANTIAGO, CHILE - JANUARY 20:  Giniel De Villiers and co-driver Dirk Von Zitzwitz of team Toyota,  2nd place in Autos,  celebrate during the podium presentations at the end of the 2013 Dakar Rally on January 20, 2013 in Santiago, Chile. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)Giniel de Villiers celebrates with co-driver Dirk von Zitzewitz after the end of the 2013 Dakar Rally.SANTIAGO, CHILE - JANUARY 20:  Stephane Peterhansel and co-driver Jean Paul Cottret of team Mini, 1st place in Autos, celebrate during the podium presentations at the end of the 2013 Dakar Rally on January 20, 2013 in Santiago, Chile. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

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