Stephane Peterhansel took over the lead of the Dakar Rally after finishing third in a weather-affected fifth stage that saw 155 kilometres cut from the scheduled running due to the inclement conditions.
The Dakar legend will take a 1 minute and 9 second advantage over Peugeot team-mate Sebastien Loeb as both jumped ahead of overnight leader Cyril Despres who endured a tough day in a third Peugeot due to navigational issues.
Peterhansel admitted that it was a demanding stage in places, especially with the complexities of navigating it that saw a number of drivers and riders in all categories lose a large amount of time, although he did admit that no one should read anything into him leading at such an early stage of the demanding Dakar Rally.
“It was raining when we set off this morning, but it was a nice stage, even though it was technically demanding and a bit muddy in places,” admitted Peterhansel. “The navigation was complex, too, and it looks like everybody got lost, but our mistakes didn’t cost us too much time.
“We are only five days into the rally and there have already been four different leaders, although there hasn’t been much in it. It’s nice to be in front at this stage but nobody should read too much into it.”