Peterhansel abandons plans to contest Dakar with wife

Jamie Klein

Peterhansel won this year's FIA World Cup for Cross-Country Rallies with Andrea alongside him, the husband-and-wife duo claiming victory in April's Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge before taking further podiums in Kazakhstan and Morocco.

However, Andrea - a former top-five Dakar finisher in her own right - did not take part in last month's Riyadh Rally in Saudi Arabia after failing an unspecified medical check.

Now Peterhansel's X-raid Mini team has revealed that she has not been cleared by doctors to take part in the Dakar, which begins in Jeddah on January 5.

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Her place will be taken by the Portuguese navigator Paulo Fiuza, who helped Peterhansel to a second-place finish in Riyadh.

"We tried and hoped until almost the last minute, but unfortunately Andrea cannot compete in the 2020 Dakar," commented X-raid team boss Sven Quandt.

"She and Stephane had a great season and could certainly have been among the front runners in Saudi Arabia, but health comes first.

"But we're also sure that Paulo will do a very good job. He and Stephane worked well together at the Riyadh Rally."

The sister factory Mini JCW Buggy will be driven by Carlos Sainz Sr, who is aiming for a third Dakar triumph in his second outing with the X-raid team.

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