Giniel de Villiers tackles a dune on stage 11.

Dakar Rally organisers were forced to stop the cars during the early parts of Wednesday's stage 11 as flash bloods made two of the rivers impassable.

Here Murphy's Law was in full effect for South Africa's Giniel de Villiers as the 2009 champion had been leading the stage at the 110km mark in his Imperial Toyota Hilux.

However, given that most of the field was further behind at that point, officials decided to declare the stage result in accordance with the positions achieved by the first control point at 67km. This handed the win to American Robby Gordon (Hummer), while Ronan Chabot (SMG) and Lucio Alvarez took second and third. De Villiers had to settle for fifth place.

Thankfully, De Villiers and co-driver Dirk von Zitzewitz still hang on to second place in the overall race rankings, with a provisional 52-minute gap to the leader Stephane Peterhansel.

De Villiers expressed his disappointment after the race: “It's a pity what happened today, because we were first on the road.

“We'd passed Robbie and Stephane. It was not a lucky break for us.”

The crews will have to survive just three more days of the world's toughest rally, which comes to an end in Santiago, Chile.

Thursday's stage will see competitors cross the Andes Mountains as they move from Fiambala to Copiapo in Argentina.


1. Robby Gordon (Hummer) 50m51

2. Ronan Chabot (SMG) +38s

3. Lucio Alvarez (Toyota) +1m47

4. Bernard Errandonea (SMG) +3:29

5. Giniel De Villiers (Toyota) +3:55

6. Stephane Peterhansel (Mini) +4:34

7. Nunzio Coffaro (Toyota) +4:57

8. Carlos Sousa (GWM) +5:25

9. Boris Gadasin (Nissan) +6:52

10. Orlando Terranova (BMW) +7:12


1. Stephane Peterhansel (Mini) 29h07m

2. Giniel De Villiers (Toyota) +51m59

3. Leonid Novitskiy (Mini) +1h26:40

4. Nani Roma (Mini) +1h37:09

5. Orlando Terranova (BMW) +2h01:27

6. Carlos Sousa (GWM) +2h35:51

7. Guerlain Chicherit (SMG) +2h56:15

8. Ronan Chabot (SMG) +2h58:56

9. Bernard Errandonea (SMG) +3h01:33

10. Pascal Thomasse (Buggy) +3h44:51