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Thursday, January 12, 2006
Alphand wins 12th stage, takes Dakar lead

Reuters

PARIS -- Frenchman Luc Alphand captured the overall lead in the Dakar rally by winning the 12th stage Thursday.

Alphand, the 1997 Alpine skiing World Cup champion, clocked the fastest time over the 368-km timed section between Mali's capital Bamako and Labe in Guinea.

Overnight leader Stephane Peterhansel of France, Alphand's Mitsubishi teammate, fell back after hitting a tree 278 km into the stage.

In the motorcyle section, the stage was won by Frenchman Cyril Despres ahead of fellow KTM rider Marc Coma of Spain, who retains the overall lead.

The race ends on Sunday in Senegal.