Ro Cuarto - British rider Sam Sunderland is poised to win his first Dakar motorbike title after Paulo Goncalves claimed the 11th and penultimate stage on Friday.
Sunderland, on a KTM, leads his rivals by over half an hour ahead of Saturday's closing stage into Buenos Aires.
While ultimate glory awaits the 27-year-old Briton, who finished fifth on Friday, it was Goncalves who took the day's honours.
The Portuguese, getting his name on the board for the first time this year, registered 3 hours 18 minutes 47 seconds over the 288 kilometre timed section from Chilecito to Rio Cuarto.
His Spanish Honda teammate Joan Barreda Bort took second at 1min 9sec with France's Yamaha rider Adrien Van Beveren third at 2:38.
Sunderland leads his Austrian teammate Matthias Walkner in the overall standings by 33:09, with Van Beveren a further four minutes adrift in third.