Updated: Tuesday, 14 January 2014 04:01 | By Agence France-Presse

Al-Attiyah, Despres on top in Dakar Rally eighth stage

Qatari driver Nasser Al-Attiyah, in a Mini, took the honours in the Dakar Rally's eighth stage which crossed through the Andes from Bolivia into Chile on Monday ahead of 11-time winner Stephane Peterhansel.

Al-Attiyah, Despres on top in Dakar Rally eighth stage

Qatar's Mini driver Nasser Al-Attiyah of Qatar and co-driver Lucas Cruz compete during the Stage 5 of the Dakar 2014 between Chilecito and Tucuman, Argentina, on January 9, 2014

Carlos Sainz, winner of stages four and seven, took third in the 302km timed run from the Bolivian town of Uyuni to Calama

Spanish driver Nani Roma was sixth and he retains a 24 minute advantage over Peterhansel with South African Giniel De Villiers placed third.

Al-Attiyah, who won the race in 2011, is in fifth overall, 1hr 5min adrift.

In the motorbike section France's Cyril Despres, a five time winner of the toughest challenge in motorsport, emerged the winner as the 2014 edition paid its first visit to Chile after stages in Argentina and Bolivia.

Despite claiming this 499km stage the Yamaha rider is still way off the pace in the overall standings, almost two and a half hours behind Spain's Marc Coma.

Tuesday's ninth stage takes the 2014 Dakar caravanserai from Calama across 150 kilometres of Chile's Atacama desert with a finish in Iquique.

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