After the completion of the 9th stage of the special race at the Paris-Dakar Rally, the Russian Kamaz truck team remains the leader in the overall score for trucks. After doing racing through a 404 km loop around the Mauritanian city of Atar under the no-roads conditions, the Kamaz-Master team including Vladimir Chagin, Semyon Yakubov, and Sergei Savostin, came to the intermediate finish line first. The Russian teams was followed by the Brazilian team headed by Andre de Azevedo on Tatra, and the gap between the two has somewhat shrunk in comparison with stages 7 and 8. The Brazilian team finished 9 minutes 52 seconds after the Russians. Another Tatra team, led by Karel Lopres, finished third. Experts believe that the result of the previous stage in the rally testifies that the closest competitors to the Russian team are still hoping that they will come out first by the end of the rally. The rally is ending near the Lac Rose (Pink Lake) in the Senegal's capital of Dakar on January 13. The experts also say that it will not be easy. The Russians are 1 hour, 36 minutes, and 25 seconds ahead of the Brazilian team. Of 35 trucks, which left the city of Arras at the northeast of France on December 28, 2001, only 29 trucks are still in the race at this point.
The remarks from the Pope came as "a very strong step towards degradation," "given the rather massive nature of homosexuality" among the Catholic clergy.