Stephane Peterhansel is the new leader of the 38th edition of the Dakar Rally.
The French 11-times champion steered his Peugeot to stage 10 honours – a stage that took the competitors from Belen to La Rioja in Argentina.
Peterhansel’s quest for a record-extending 12th title was boosted by the withdrawl of overnight leader Carlos Sainz of Spain, who suffered a serious mechanical problem that forced him to throw in the towel.
With Sainz down and out Peterhansel raced to the summit of the standings where he holds a one hour lead over defending champ Nasser Al Attiyah.
Slovakia’s Stefan Svitko enjoyed his first win of this year’s race.
The KTM rider is second in the overall bikes standings and closed the gap on overall race leader Toby Price to 23 minutes.
Australia’s Price finished the day’s challenge in third behind Svitko and stage runner up Kevin Benavides of Argentina.