FILE UNDER -- Alpine

Former French ski champ Luc Alphand primed to win Dakar Rally

Former French ski champ Luc Alphand primed to win Dakar Rally{mosimage}DAKAR, Senegal – Former ski champion Luc Alphand of France maintained the overall lead Saturday after the 14th stage of the Dakar Rally.

The race ends Sunday with a 31-kilometer (19-miles) run to Lac Rose, a pink lake east of Dakar. French driver Guerlain Chicherit won the 14th stage on a penultimate day marred by the death of a 12-year-old boy who was hit by a support truck.

Alphand won 12 World Cup races – 10 downhills and two super G races – and the 1996-97 World Cup overall championship.

The course of the Dakar Rally changes slightly each year. The 2006 race is a 9,043-kilometer (5,619-mile) route from Lisbon, Portugal. More than 1,400 people are competing in cars, trucks, ATVs and motorcycles.

– The Associated Press

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