Britain’s Sam Sunderland has crashed out of stage 4 of the 2018 Dakar Rally with a back injury serious enough for doctors to rule out further participation in the bikes category. The KTM rider had to be airlifted out by helicopter following an accident on the 330km course.
The defending champion’s exit has shaken up the leaderboard, with Yamaha rider Adrien Van Beveren's stage win also placing him first overall.
Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) raced into second in the rankings with a fourth place finish in Peru.
The riders started the stage in groups of 15 at five-minute intervals. Van Beveren was in the second wave, which led the way for most of stage 4.
Nine-time World Rally Championship winner Sébastien Loeb won the stage in the car class. But fellow Peugeot driver Stephane Peterhansel retained the top spot overall, after coming third in the stage.
But it was also a disappointing day for Peugeot. Cyril Despres dropped out of contention with suspension damage.
The 2018 Dakar Rally ends in Argentina on January 20 after also travelling through Bolivia.