Peterhansel Pads Lead During Dakar Rally

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Stephane Peterhansel won Tuesday's Dakar Rally stage to extend his overall lead. (Red Bull Photo)
Stephane Peterhansel won Tuesday's Dakar Rally stage to extend his overall lead. (Red Bull Photo)

NEOM, Saudi Arabia – Stephane Peterhansel took another step toward victory in the Dakar Rally on Thursday with a dominant stage victory.

Peterhansel drove his X-Raid Mini to a comfortable 12 minute victory in Tuesday’s stage over rival Nasser Al-Attiyah, who struggled to keep pace after two tire punctures during the ninth stage of the rally.

Carlos Sainz also struggled with brake issues on his car, leaving him more than an hour behind Peterhansel with only a few days remaining in the Dakar Rally.

Kevin Benavides took a stage victory in the motorcycle class, but Jose Ignacio Cornejo Florimo now finds himself more than 11 minutes ahead of Benavides in the class standings. Entering the day it was Toby Price who was the closest to Florimo, but Price is now out of the race after a crash in Tuesday’s stage.

Price was airlifted to a local hospital following the crash, which took place at the 155-kilometer mark during the ninth stage of the rally. Dakar Rally officials said he suffered right wrist and left shoulder injuries, though the extend of the injuries is not known.

Giovanni Enrico was the stage winner in the quad class, but Manuel Andujar continues to hold a comfortable lead of nearly 20 minutes in the class. Martin Macik was the truck stage winner while Dmitry Sotnikov continues to control the overall rankings in the class.

Francisco Lopez Contardo won the lightweight stage and now has a 12 minute advantage over American Austin Jones in the class rankings.