Sainz in cruise mode
Overnight leader Sainz was in a class of his own as the 57-year-old held his nerve through sandy surroundings including hills occasionally scattered with desert grass.
"We're all pushing hard and doing a good job so far. The car is working well," said Sainz, who extended his advantage by scorching over the dunes.
Al Attiyah in hunt
The 2010 and 2018 champions' second stage win of the 2020 Dakar Rally moves him almost six minutes clear of Al Attiyah who remains his closest competitor after the stage 5 dominated by sandy terrain.
With the Rest Day in Riyadh now just one day away, we are witnessing world class off-roaders assert their authority at the 42nd edition of the world's toughest rally.
Third on the stage and staying third overall is Peterhansel.
The 13-time Dakar winner managed to keep himself in contention despite being tasked with opening the stage, alongside his stand in co-driver Paulo Fiuza. The Frenchman is now 18 minutes back from fellow Mini Buggy driver Sainz.
Alonso in the mix
Meanwhile, two-time Formula 1 world champion Fernando Alonso notched up the second top-10 finish of his Dakar career as he finished seventh. The Toyota driver still trails leader Sainz by more than three hours overall following his costly accident on the second stage.
"Good day for us. 2 punctures & some difficulties, but perfect navigation from Marc and better terrain for our Toyoya," tweeted Alonso.