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2016-01-05 07:51

MAIDEN DAKAR STAGE WIN: WRC legend Sebastien Loeb, competing for Peugeot in the Dakar Rally, captured his first stage win of the world's toughest race. Image: AP / Jorge Saenz

Termas de Ro Hondo, Argentina - Nine-time rally world champion Sebastien Loeb won his first Dakar Rally stage on Monday (January 4), the 387km run between Villa Carlos Paz and Termas de Rio Hondo in Argentina.

At the wheel of a Peugeot 4x4, the 41-year-old took 3hrs45min46sec to complete the second stage, which had been shortened due to a section being badly effected by heavy overnight rain.

Loeb said: "It was tricky out there and I'm happy we came through okay. I'm a little surprised to have clocked the best time of the day.

WATCH: Dakar Rally 4x4 crashes into crowd

"We got lucky on a muddy section where several others ran into trouble. The car is good, up to the job, especially on these narrow winding roads.

"We'll be first out tomorrow (Tuesday) and that'll make things easier for us."

Stephane Peterhansel, also driving in a Peugeot and a multiple Dakar winner, came in second, 2min30 behind .

Al-Attiyah suffers flat tyre

Russia's Vladimir Vasilyev in a Toyota was third while 2015 winner the Qatari Nasser Al-Attiyah racing a Mini was 4 minutes 18 seconds off Loeb's pace after getting a flat tyre.

Another Mini driver Mikko Hirvonen, a former world rally rival of Loeb's, also did well on Monday, racing home in fifth and trailing Loeb in the overall by 3min 05sec.

The 2014 winner, Spain's Nani Roma could only scramble home in 40th and a full 46 minutes back after getting stuck in mud. Argentina's Orlando Terranova got bogged down in the same place and lost a half hour on the race leaders.

The race is something of a leap in the dark for Loeb, who dominated the world rally championship during his long collaboration with Citroen.

He now leads overall from Peterhansel and Vasilyev.   

Oz rider Toby Price wins Stage 2

Earlier in the day, 28-year-old Australian Toby Price won the motorbike version of stage two on his KTM after winning a stage in 2015 when he finished third overall in his own maiden Dakar.

Thunderstorms and heavy rain had already forced the cancellation of Sunday's opening stage because of safety concerns, a day after 10 people were injured when a car crashed into spectators during the prologue.

KTM congratulated works rider Toby Price on winning Stage 2:  

Dakar Rally Stage 2 results:

Cars: 1. Sébastien Loeb (FRA) 03:45:46 2. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA) +00:02:23 3. Vladimir Vasilyev (RUS) +00:02:38 4. Giniel de Villiers (ZAF) +00:03:01 5. Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) +00:03:05

Bikes: 1. Toby Price (AUS) 03:46:24 2. Ruben Faria (PRT) +00:00:20 3. Stefan Svitko (SVK) +00:01:28 4. Alain Duclos (FRA) +00:01:51 5. Matthias Walkner (AUT) +00:02:00

Trucks: 1. Hans Stacey (NLD) 04:18:18 2. Pieter Versluis (NLD) 00:00:48 3. Gerard de Rooy (NLD) +00:01:51 4. Martin Kolomy (CZE) +00:02:39 5. Federico Villagra (ARG) +00:02:44

Quads: 1. Ignacio Casale (CHL) 04:10:47 2. Brian Baragwanath (ZAF) +00:03:49 3. Alejandro Patronelli (ARG) +00:03:58 4. Marcelo Medeiros (BRA) +00:04:11 5. Marcos Patronelli (ARG) +00:06:32

Dakar Rally Overall standings (after Stage 2):

Cars: 1. Sébastien Loeb (FRA) 03:52:03 2. Stéphane Peterhansel (FRA) +00:02:23 3. Vladimir Vasilyev (RUS) +00:02:42 4. Giniel de Villiers (ZAF) +00:03:01 5. Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) +00:03:03

Bikes: 1. Toby Price (AUS) 03:53:09 2. Ruben Faria (PRT) +00:00:02 3. Stefan Svitko (SVK) +00:01:21 4. Alain Duclos (FRA) +00:01:53 5. Matthias Walkner (AUT) +00:01:59

Trucks: 1. Hans Stacey (NLD) 04:18:18 2. Pieter Versluis (NLD) 00:00:48 3. Gerard de Rooy (NLD) +00:01:51 4. Martin Kolomy (CZE) +00:02:39 5. Federico Villagra (ARG) +00:02:44

Quads: 1. Ignacio Casale (CHL) 04:18:01 2. Brian Baragwanath (ZAF) +00:04:00 3. Alejandro Patronelli (ARG) +00:04:06 4. Marcelo Medeiros (BRA) +00:04:23 5. Marcos Patronelli (ARG) +00:06:37


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