Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Peterhansel Back On Top After Sainz Suffers Gearbox Issue

Stage ten of the 2016 Dakar Rally saw two class leads go unchanged but there was another changer a top the car class.

Stéphane Peterhansel won the stage, his third of this year's edition. Cyril Despres made it a French and Peugeot 1-2, finishing five minutes and 40 seconds behind Peterhansel. Vladimir Vasilyev was 12 minutes and 56 seconds back in third. Nani Roma finished fourth, 14 minutes and 33 seconds back. Sébastien Loeb scored his first top five stage finish since his accident on stage eight. Loeb was 17 minutes and 40 seconds behind his fellow countryman. Giniel de Villiers finished 26 minutes and 16 seconds back in sixth with Czech driver Miroslav Zapletal scoring his first top ten stage finish of this year's race, a minute and a half behind the South African. Harry Hunt of Great Britain also picked up his first top ten stage finish, 34 minutes and 25 seconds back. Emiliano Spataro finished five seconds behind Hunt. Leeroy Poulter rounded out the top ten, 37 minutes and 36 seconds back.

Carlos Sainz suffered a gearbox issue, stranding him out on the course for a significant amount of time before assistance could arrive. Sainz wasn't the only contending driver to stop on course today. Nasser Al-Attiyah suffered a flat tire and finished 52 minutes behind Peterhansel.

Peterhansel leads by exactly one hour over Al-Attiyah with three stages remaining. De Villiers is 12 minutes behind Al-Attiyah with Mikko Hirvonen just over 11 minutes behind the South African. He finished 56 minutes behind Peterhansel on stage ten. Ten minutes behind the Finn is Poulter. Despres is over an hour and 50 minutes back but Roma trails Despres by 18 seconds for sixth.

Štefan Svitko won his first stage of this year's Dakar. The Slovakian beat Kevin Benavides by two minutes and 54 seconds and Toby Price was five minutes and 47 seconds back in third. Paulo Gonçalves finished fourth, six minutes and a second back. Antoine Meo made it three KTMs in the top five. He finished seven minutes and 43 seconds back of Svitko. Pablo Quintanilla finished nine minutes and 55 seconds behind Svitko in sixth. Hélder Rodrigues was 12 minutes and a second back and American Ricky Brabec finished 13 minutes and 47 seconds back in eighth. Adrien Van Beveren and Gerard Farres rounded out the top ten, 18 minutes and 26 minutes back respectively.

Price retains his overall lead. The Australian leads Svitko by over 23 minutes. Gonçalves trails by 34 minutes in third. Quintanilla is 42 minutes back with Meo less than two minutes behind the Chilean and Benavides a little over a minute back of Meo. Rodrigues is 56 minutes back in seventh. Brabec trails by an hour and 12 minutes in eighth. Farres is three minutes and a second behind the American. Van Beveren rounds out the top ten, an hour and 21 minutes behind Price.

Brian Baragwanath won his second stage in the quad. The South African beat Marcos Patronelli by 29 seconds with Alejandro Patronelli a minute and 17 seconds back of Baragwanath. Sergei Karyakin was fourth, 17 minutes and 42 seconds back. Stage nine winner Pablo Bonetti finished fifth, 21 minutes and 53 seconds behind Baragwanath.

Marcos leads his brother Alejandro by a minute and 32 seconds. Jeremias González is an hour and 34 minutes back after losing over 41 minutes to Marcos Patronelli on this stage. Karyakin trails González by less than a minute. Baragwanath is fifth, an hour and 41 minutes back and the final rider within two hours of the quad class lead.

Dutchman Pascal De Baar took a surprise stage victory. His previous best stage finish this year was ninth on stage two. The Renaults Truck driver beat Gerard de Rooy by two minutes and 36 seconds. Airat Mardeev finished 26 minutes and six seconds back in third. Martin Kolomy finished 19 seconds behind Mardeev. A minute back of Kolomy was Hans Stacey.

De Rooy leads overall by an hour and 15 minutes over Mardeev. Federico Villagra is an hour and 32 minutes back in third. Stacey trails by an hour and 48 minutes. Two hours and 16 minutes back in fifth is Ton Van Genugten.

Stage eleven will go from La Rioja to San Juan.