Carlos Sainz added another Dakar Rally title to his glittering CV on Friday, winning the event for the third time at the age of 57.

The rally legend had previously triumphed in 2010 and 2018 and led from the third stage this year.

He finished six minutes and 21 seconds ahead of defending champion Nasser al-Attiyah.

Fernando Alonso, making his debut at the event, finished in 13th. 

The two-time Formula One world champion was among those to pay tribute to the two-time World Rally champion, posting a video of him congratulating Sainz on his Instagram page.

Sainz's son, Carlos Sainz Jr, wrote of his father on Twitter: "3 Dakars, 3 different brands, 57 years, same passion, same desire, same motivation. 

"The pride I feel as a son right now is very difficult to explain so I can't think of anything else to say. You're the p*** amo! [the best]."

On his own Twitter page, Sainz hailed co-driver Lucas Cruz, posting: "CHAMPIONS! This 3rd Dakar has been very hard but we have enjoyed it!

"I'm still having fun, and we've been on the attack every day. Great @LucasCruz74 and thank you all for your support these weeks."

Fernando Alonso is determined to make up ground at the Dakar Rally after suffering a significant crash on Wednesday.

Alonso's vehicle was without a windshield after dramatically flipping down a sand dune at high speed.

The two-time Formula One world champion continued driving without a windshield after an incident which halted him for over an hour. 

"All good and ready!! Looking forward to recovering ground," Alonso wrote on Instagram ahead of Thursday's resumption of the race.

Alonso and co-driver Marc Coma finished Wednesday's stage 10 in 55th position out of the 64 runners, one hour and 17 minutes off the pace.

They are faring better in the overall standings, though, sitting in 14th place. 

Stage 10 came to an early halt after organisers halted proceedings 345km into the day's racing due to strong winds.

Portuguese motorbike rider Paulo Goncalves has died after a fall in the Dakar Rally, race organisers announced on Sunday.

The 40-year-old, who finished second in the event five years ago, was airlifted to hospital but could not be saved.

Riding for the Hero Motorsports team, Goncalves was taking part in his 13th Dakar Rally and the first to be staged in Saudi Arabia.

Sunday's seventh stage of the race was a 546-kilometre journey from Riyadh to Wadi Al Dawasir.

A statement on the Dakar Rally website said: "Paulo Goncalves, racing on motorbike no 8, has passed away from a fall sustained 276 kilometres into today's special.

"The organisers received an alert at 10:08 and dispatched a medical helicopter that reached the biker at 10:16 and found him unconscious after going into cardiac arrest.

"Following resuscitation efforts in situ, the competitor was taken by helicopter to Layla Hospital, where he was sadly pronounced dead.

"The entire Dakar caravan would like to extend its sincere condolences to his friends and family."

Fernando Alonso's doubts heading into his Dakar Rally debut have been quashed and the Spaniard is delighted with his display.

The Spaniard, a two-time Formula One champion and 24 Hours of Le Mans winner, placed 11th in the first stage but fell two and a half hours off the pace following a crash on day two.

Alonso, who is set to have a third attempt at completing motorsport's 'Triple Crown' at the Indy 500, was proud of his performances, in particular crossing the line just four minutes slower than fellow Toyota Gazoo Racing driver and three-time Dakar champion Nasser Al-Attiyah on Friday.

"When I arrived in Jeddah, I knew that I was facing a tough test, a giant challenge and I did not know very well how I'd perform in 500-kilometre stages," Alonso told reporters during the rest day on Saturday.

"I did not know if I was going to lose 40 minutes, one hour ... and when stages like [Friday] arrive, that I am four minutes from Nasser, it is absolutely incredible for me.

"It's removed doubts about how competitive I could be in a different specialty and I am very, very happy."

Alonso and co-driver Marc Coma sit 16th in the general classification, just 40 minutes away from the place in the top 10.

"I do not care much about the general classification, but I would be excited to be in the top 10 and I think it would be deserved seeing the times of the last stages, but I'm not obsessed about it," said Alonso.

"I am looking forward to the second week and seeing what happens. The top three have an unattainable pace and it is difficult to get into that fight every stage.

"Hopefully we can be in the top five in the majority of stages."

Fernando Alonso made a solid start to his Dakar Rally debut by placing 11th on the opening stage in Saudi Arabia.

Two-time Formula One champion Alonso finished the 319-kilometre timed special up the coast from Jeddah to Al Wajh in three hours, 34 minutes and 31 seconds to miss out on a spot in the top 10.

The Spaniard, who was won the 24 Hours of Le Mans and competed in the Indy 500 since retiring from F1, crossed the line 15 minutes and 27 seconds adrift of stage winner Vaidotas Zala.

Stephane Peterhansel was second and Carlos Sainz third, while defending champion Nasser Al-Attiyah lost five minutes and 33 seconds to a trio of late punctures.

Marseille coach Andre Villas-Boas hopes to compete in the Dakar Rally again in the next five years.

Villas-Boas took part in the 2018 race in South America after leaving his position at Shanghai SIPG.

The Portuguese, a motorsport enthusiast whose uncle competed in the event in 1982, was forced to withdraw after fracturing a vertebra on the fourth stage in Peru.

However, Villas-Boas, who is contracted to Marseille until 2021, wants to have another crack while the Dakar Rally is in Saudi Arabia.

"As we granted a day of rest to the players, who deserved it, I took advantage of the invitation from David Castera [Dakar Rally director] to briefly immerse myself in the atmosphere. It reminds me of lots of good memories despite my accident," he told L'Equipe.

"The desire to drive has always been there. When I was little, I dreamed of being a football or rally driver. Then I discovered my love for coaching a little later.

"I will do it again in the next five years in Saudi Arabia. I want to finish the story. I saw pictures the other day, it's amazing.

"This year will be important for the club but I will set aside a slot [for the Dakar Rally] in the next few years."

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