BUENOS AIRES, Argentina -- Spaniards dominated the fourth stage of the Dakar Rally on Tuesday as Carlos Sainz beat Nasser Al Attiyah of Qatar by six seconds and Marc Coma again won the motorbike stage.
Sainz, who also won the rally's second stage, finished the 459-kilometer (285-mile) ride in 3 hours, 42 minutes, 57 minutes in his Volkswagen -- six seconds ahead of Al Attiyah, who won the first and third stages through Argentina and Chile.
Al Attiyah in his BMW beat Sainz by 35 seconds in the third stage, but the Argentine leads overall and is 3:46 ahead of Al Attiyah.
Sprint Cup driver Robby Gordon remains in ninth place, 46:45 behind Sainz.
Luc Alphand of France was 2:24 back in third in the stage across the Patagonian steppe from Ingeniero Jacobacci to Neuquen in Argentina in his Mitsubishi.
Mark Miller from the United States was fourth, 4:20 behind his Volkswagen teammate, Sainz.
The rally is being held in South America for the first time after being canceled in 2008 because of the threat of terrorist attacks along its traditional route through Africa.
Argentine dust rather than African sand has been an added obstacle on the terrain. A persistent drought has turned massive amounts of Argentina's soil to dust, forcing drivers to navigate through clouds of brown dirt.
Cars, trucks and motorbikes have often disappeared behind dust, spraying thousands of fans who have gathered to watch along the route, now passing through isolated towns and villages in southern Argentina.
Coma won the motorbike stage in 4:09:32. Cyril Despres of France was 1:17 back in second place, followed by Jonah Street of the United States, :04 seconds behind. All three are driving for KTM.
Coma also won Saturday's and Monday's legs and is now 42:57 ahead of Street in the overall standings.
English driver Paul Green remains in serious condition in a local hospital after flipping his Rally Raid UK truck Saturday during the first stage.
The 30th edition of the classic rally started from Buenos Aires on Friday with 177 cars, 217 motorcycles, 81 trucks and 25 quad bikes and features drivers from 49 countries.
After 14 stages covering the 9,574-kilometer (5,950-mile) circuit, it will finish on Jan. 18 in Buenos Aires.
Wednesday's route is a 506-kilometer (314-mile) drive from Neuquen to San Rafael.
The Dakar Rally is being broadcast on Versus, with daily updates on RobbyGordon.com. - ap
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