Stephane Peterhansel remains on course for a successful defence of his Dakar Rally title after a sixth-placed finish on today's 12th stage.

The Frenchman sits 50 minutes 21 seconds ahead of his nearest challenger Giniel de Villiers in the cars category, and a further 41 minutes ahead of Joan Roma, who won the stage.

The race finishes on Saturday in the Chilean capital, Santiago.

Cyril Despres continues to lead the way in the bikes, with a five minute 39 second advantage over Ruben Faria.