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Peterhansel's co-driver escapes serious injury in Dakar exit

Stephane Peterhansel retires Dakar 2019

Stephane Peterhansel's co-driver David Castera has been cleared of fractures to his spine after the crash that ended the X-raid Mini pair's 2019 Dakar Rally on Wednesday.

Peterhansel and Castera endured a heavy landing over a dune 16 miles onto the rally's penultimate stage, with a suspected back injury meaning Castera needed to be transported directly to hospital in Lima.

It was the second bad landing on the event for the crew, Peterhansel having claimed they were left with whiplash due to a drop off a dune earlier in the week.

Later on Wednesday night, X-raid announced that Castera's injuries were not as serious as first feared.

"The X-raid team doctor reports that David Castera has only a contusion of the spine," read a statement from the team.

"No bone fractures were found in the spine. In addition, there were no injuries to the capsule ligament.

"The injuries will heal without consequences."

The uninjured Peterhansel drove the car back to the service park following the incident, his slim hopes of securing a 14th Dakar title over. He and Castera had gone into Wednesday running fourth.

Nasser Al-Attiyah is now on the verge of victory, the Toyota driver holding a 51 minute lead heading into Thursday's 70-mile final stage.

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