Bisha, Saudi Arabia
The Dakar Rally’s record 14-time champion Stephane Peterhansel powered to stage 10 success on Wednesday as only a mechanical meltdown ap-peared to now stand between Nasser Al-Attiyah and the 2022 title.
The Qatari three-time winner heads into Thurs-day’s penultimate stage 32min 40sec clear of France’s nine-time world rally champion Sebastien Loeb.
In the bike category France’s Adrien Van Beveren moved to the top of the rankings after a day marked by the premature end of Kevin Benavides’ title defence.
Peterhansel, known as ‘Mr Dakar’, won last year, three decades after his first victory on two wheels in 1991.
The only competitor to win the famed rally in Africa, South America and Asia, Peterhansel was thrilled to land a stage in his Audi hybrid.
“I’m not necessarily a stage hunter, but each Audi driver has now won a stage, and that’s fantas-tic,” the Frenchman said.
“When Carlos (Sainz) became the first driver to win a Dakar stage in an electric car, it was a mile-stone, now we confirmed that performance.
“ He added: “This is good for morale, not least because it comes after a complicated start to the rally.—APP