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Andre Villas-Boas placed 45th in Dakar rally opening stages

Andre Villas Boas
Andre Villas-Boas drives in the rally.

As a Premier League manager, Andre Villas-Boas was mandated with a top-four finish but the Portuguese had to settle for mid-table in the opening stages of the Dakar Rally at the weekend.

The former Chelsea and Tottenham boss, who quit Shanghai SPIG in November, finished 42nd of 91 in the first stage of the 15-day endurance race in South America and he had slipped to 45th by the end of Sunday's tricky second stage.

The opening stage -- which stretches 169 miles from Lima, the Peruvian capital, to Pisco -- involved a run along the Pacific coast followed by a 19-mile sprint and is regarded as a gentle warm-up before the first real difficulties of the off-road rally begin.

Sunday's second stage involved the full might of the sand dunes of Ica near Pisco, Peru, and is 90 percent off-road.

Villas-Boas, who is driving a Toyota Hilux, is partnered by Ruben Faria, an experienced Dakar Rally participant who finished runner-up in the Motorbike classification in 2013.

The pair will begin the third stage, a 186-mile trek through the sand dunes of the Ica Desert, on Monday.

Villas-Boas, 40, is racing for "Race for Good," aiming to raise awareness for Ace Africa, an organisation which supports communities in their mission to become self-sufficient, and APPACDM, a learning disability charity.

Dan is ESPN FC's Tottenham correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Dan_KP.

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