Stephane Peterhansel continued to eat into the lead of Peugeot Sport team-mate Carlos Sainz Sr. as he secured his third stage victory of the 2018 Dakar Rally on Tuesday, the 373-kilometre stage between Salta and Belen.
Following his incident on Saturday that cost him the overall lead, Peterhansel has now claimed two consecutive stage victories, with this one moving him into second place overall, ahead of Nasser Al-Attiyah.
On the day, Peterhansel finished eight minutes and forty-six seconds clear of Giniel de Villiers, and thirteen minutes and seven seconds clear of Sainz, who now holds a fifty minute and thirty-five second lead with four stages remaining.
United Arab Emirates racer Khalid Al Qassimi finished the day with the fourth quickest time for Peugeot, with Toyota Gazoo Racing SA’s Bernhard ten Brinke fifth ahead of the leading X-Raid Mini of Jakub Przygonski and Peugeot’s Cyril Despres, while Orlando Terranova and Mikko Hirvonen were eighth and ninth fastest respectively for Mini.
Al-Attiyah completed the stage in tenth for Toyota, but the Qatari racer lost twenty-nine minutes and sixteen seconds to stage winner Peterhansel, ensuring the Frenchman overtook him in the overall standings by twenty-two minutes and eleven seconds.
The tenth stage of the Dakar Rally completely shuffled the bikes class, with Matthias Walkner taking over the overall lead by a considerable margin after being one of a few of the frontrunners to not run into trouble on Tuesday.
Heading into the stage, just twenty-two seconds separated Adrien van Beveren and Kevin Benavides at the head of the standings, but the stage saw both struggle, with the former crashing out three kilometres from the end of the stage, with the Frenchman suffering a broken right collarbone and thorax and spinal injuries in the incident.
The first part of the 373-kilometre stage was relatively straightforward, but the second part was far from that, with the majority of the riders at the head of the field finding themselves on the wrong path and lost, with only KTM rider Walkner and Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team’s van Beveren seemingly finding the correct way through.
The likes of Benavides, Toby Price, Joan Barreda and Antoine Meo lost substantial time, with Barreda now second to Walkner in the overall standings but thirty-nine minutes and forty-two seconds adrift, while Benavides has slipped down to third, forty-one minutes and twenty-three seconds back.
On the day, Husqvarna’s Pablo Quintanilla was Walkner’s closest challenger, but even the Chilean lost eleven minutes and thirty-five seconds to the Austrian, while Spaniard Gerard Farres Guell ended third fastest to move up to fourth overall, with Price and Meo now fifth and sixth respectively.
Nicolas Cavigliasso took his second stage victory of the 2018 Dakar Rally on Tuesday, with the Yamaha rider finishing two minutes and six seconds ahead of local rider Jeremias Gonzalez Feriloi.
Feriloi, the closest rival to rally leader Ignacio Casale, was able to finish four minutes and seventeen seconds behind the Chilean on the day, but the gap between the two sits at one hour, forty-one minutes and three seconds, with Cavigliasso only one minute and fifty-three seconds back.
Kazakhstan rider Dmitriy Shilov ended the stage with the fourth fastest time, with Brazilian Marcelo Medeiros completing the top five, albeit almost sixteen minutes than Cavigliasso.
Dutch driver Ton van Genugten took his second stage victory of the 2018 Dakar Rally on Tuesday, thirty-three seconds ahead of Argentine racer Federico Villagra, with the Iveco driver taking a significant chunk of time out of rally leader Eduard Nikolaev.
The Russian lost twenty-two minutes and fourteen seconds to van Genugten on the day, but the twenty-one minutes and forty-one seconds he lost to Villagra means the gap between them is down to twenty-four minutes and forty-four seconds with four stages remaining.
Siarhei Viazovich finished third on the stage to keep the same position overall, but the Belarus driver sits three hours, forty-eight minutes and thirty seconds behind Villagra, with van Genugten fourth, a further twenty minutes and twenty-four seconds back.
Frenchman Patrice Garrouste took his third stage win of the Dakar Rally in convincing style, with the Polaris driver more than an hour ahead of anyone else in the UTV class.
Garrouste was one hour, nine minute and thirty seconds ahead of Peru driver Juan Carlos Uribe Ramos, and moved ahead of the Can-Am driver into second place in the overall standings, with the gap between him and leader Ignacio Casale now down to forty-eight minutes and twelve seconds.
Casale finished fourth on stage on Tuesday, one hour, forty-four minutes and fifteen seconds behind Garrouste, and was also twelve minutes and fifteen seconds behind Spaniard Jose Luis Pena Campo, who finished third fastest on the day in his Polaris machine.