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Saturday, January 15, 2005
Peterhansel has 27 minute lead, one day left

Associated Press

DAKAR, Senegal -- French driver Stephane Peterhansel closed in on victory at the Dakar Rally on Saturday with a fifth-place finish in the next-to-last stage.

South Africa's Giniel de Villiers won the 15th stage, covering 140 miles through savanna from Tambacounda to Dakar in 2 hours, 21 minutes, 15 seconds. France's Bruno Saby was 57 seconds back and Portugal's Carlos Sousa was a minute behind.

Overall, Peterhansel is 27:13 ahead of countryman Luc Alphand, with De Villiers in third place. In the motorbike division, overall leader Cyril Despres of France won Saturday's leg.

The 5,566-mile race from Barcelona, Spain, to Dakar ends Sunday with a 23-mile run to Lac Rose, outside the Senegalese capital.