‘Mr Dakar’ Peterhansel wins landmark 13th title

Río Cuarto (Argentina): France’s Stéphane Peterhansel won his 13th Dakar Rally title on Saturday following a tight battle with French Peugeot teammate Sébastien Loeb.

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The 51-year-old Peterhansel added the 2017 title to his previous six wins on four wheels and his six on two, the first coming in 1991.

Along with third-placed Cyril Despres the trio handed Peugeot their first podium sweep since 1990, before the French car maker withdrew from the race to return in 2015.

Nine-time world rally champion Loeb and Peterhansel dominated the gruelling two-week race winning eight out of a possible 10 stages between them with the former taking five and the later three. Despres also won a stage for Peugeot who took control from the second stage.

Earlier Sam Sunderland became the first Briton to win the motorbike section after the heartbreak of being forced to retire from two previous editions.

The KTM rider secured victory after the 12th and final special, a 64 kilometer (40 mile) race into the Argentinian town of Rio Cuarto.

The 27-year-old Dubai-based Briton entered the 2012 and 2014 Dakar rallies but retired each time with mechanical problems. It is the 16th year in a row that KTM have won the motorbike title.

The 2016 winner, Toby Price of Australia, pulled out of this year’s race during the fourth stage.

AFP

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