After a cancelled opening leg, the Dakar Rally really got going on Monday with the first full stage between Villa Carlos Paz and Termas de Rio Hondo in Argentina.
Following a couple of days of heavy rain the muddy conditions were challenging at best.
Australian Toby Price confirmed his title ambitions by winning the stage and taking the overall race lead.
Husqvarna’s Ruben Faria of Portugal crossed over in second with Slovakian KTM rider Stefan Svitko third.
This year’s star entry Sebastien Loeb was quickest through every checkpoint on the shortened special despite being one of many competitors to get a little stuck in the mud.
The French nine-time World Rally champion crossed over the line to win the stage by 2 minutes and 23s over Peugeot team-mate and Dakar Rally legend Stephane Peterhansel – who is hunting a record-extending 12th title.
Russia’s Vladimir Vasilzev rounded out the podium in his Toyota while last year’s victor Nasser Al-Attiyah struggled at the muddy office and finished four minutes off the pace in eighth.