Eleven-time winner and two-time defending champion Stephane Peterhansel won the ninth stage of the Dakar Rally, edging him closer to the overall lead in cars with four stages remaining.

Peterhansel was fastest in his Mini on Tuesday in the gruelling 422-kilometre stretch across the Atacama Dunes to Chile.

Qatar's Nasser Al Attiyah, who won stage eight, was second but Spain's Nani Roma still has the overall lead that has now been cut down to just 12 minutes by Peterhansel.

The Frenchman finished two minutes, 17 seconds ahead of Al-Attiyah and 11:36 clear of Roma.

In bikes, overall leader Marc Coma of Spain won the stage and stretched his advantage over countryman Joan Barreda Bort to 55:36.

Coma won the stage, 5:45 ahead of Cyril Despres of France and 9:00 in front of Spaniard Juan Pedrero Garcia.

Wednesday´s 10th stage heads south from Iquique to Antofagasta.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies