Sebastien Loeb has clinched victory on stage four of the 2018 Dakar Rally to chip away at Stephane Peterhansel's lead as Peugeot profits from its rival's issues to take a 1-2-3 in the standings, while defending bike champion Sam Sunderland retires from the event.
He got going after nearly half an hour at a standstill, but his Peugeot was soon stuck again and lost another two hours waiting for assistance.
For 2018 the team have brought in a new auto in the form of the Mini John Cooper Works Buggy and after the second day of action, the Finn is sitting in seventh position, just behind Team Peugeot Total driver Carlos Sainz Sr. "We got stuck once and managed to get going again".
Loeb beat Carlos Sainz by 95 seconds, followed by Peterhansel for a Peugeot sweep of the podium.
Dutch driver Bernhard ten Brinke of Toyota finished the stage 4:52 behind Peterhansel. He finished the stage at 33 position, which placed him at 24 position in the overall rankings.More news: "We're Doing Our Best" To Revive Prince Of Persia, Says Creator
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De Villiers posted the third-fastest time on the stage, about five minutes ahead of Sainz, despite suffering a puncture mid-stage. We lost pressure in one of the tyres.
After getting back into contention yesterday, disaster struck for Nasser Al-Attiyah who lost more than 30 minutes to the leaders.
TreasuryOne Volkswagen Amarok privateer Hennie de Klerk enjoyed a positive day in the sand, bringing it home 37th for the day to move up one place to 33rd overall, while navigator Rob Howie was 16th after guiding Lucio Alvares home. "It was a very good day especially in a very hard stage, with the dunes and the navigation needed".
Severe back pain which required a hospital visit put an end to the British rider's hopes and enabled Adrien Van Beveren to take a commanding stage win ahead of Xavier de Soultrait and Matthias Walkner. The KTM rider has been transported by medical helicopter to the bivouac after being ruled out of finishing the fourth stage.
Wessel Bosman was the last of 114 surviving motorcycle competitors to finish Stage 5, and was also last in the overall standngs.