Spaniard Jordi Viladoms took full advantage of race favourites Marc Coma and Cyril Despres getting lost to claim his first stage win of the 2009 Dakar.
The factory Repsol KTM man powered to the fastest time on day ten of the gruelling event finishing 1m 6s ahead of fellow KTM man Alain Duclos.
Viladoms said: A very strange, amazing day! I arrived at the first refuelling in more or less the position I expected. So I was very surprised, not to say a little concerned, to see that at the second refuelling Marc (Coma) wasn't there. Much to my relief, he arrived two minutes later, with Cyril (Despres) and Chaleco (Lopez).
"On leaving the refuelling CP Alain (Duclos) and I waited for our respective riders and then all four of us rode through the camel grass together - a lot of fun.
"Then, not far from the end, we couldn't find the waypoint. We headed off up this huge dune, more like a mountain, to get to it and in the process all split up.
"I started to get worried again and then two dunes later I saw an orange bike in the distance and fortunately it was Marc - a big relief.
Third place went to Pal Anders Ullevalseter with 29-year-old Portuguese star Helder Rodrigues in fourth and veteran David Casteu fifth.
Red Bull KTM rider Cyril Despres took fifth spot ahead of race leader Marc Coma with both men taking a 24KM detour which dropped them down to mid pack before fighting their way back up the leader board.
For Despres it was a missed opportunity not to capitalise on Coma’s mistake and at the end of the stage there was only 3m 28s seconds between the two men meaning that Coma remains in overall control at the top of the time sheets.
Coma said: “We left the bivouac at about 6 this morning, but because of the fog and the fact that the helicopters couldn't fly, we didn't start till 10. Then this evening we didn't get back to 17.30 - it was a very long day - and quite a stressful one!
"Everything was going fine until we got lost after the refuelling CP and lost about 20 minutes. Then nearly at the end we struggled to find a waypoint and had to ride through some pretty soft sand. If yesterday resembled Morocco today was a bit like Mauritania.”
British honour was upheld once again by Mick Extance onboard his Honda Europe CRF450. The 45 year old finished the tough stage in 23rd place, a result good enough to see him climb up into 20th in the overall standings.
Stanley Watt was once again in impressive form finishing in 26th place and now sits 23rd in the overall standings.
Craig Bounds secured his best Dakar result in 39th with Garry Ennis 81st and Ewan Buchan in 94th.