The French Stéphane Peterhansel (Audi) took the tenth stage of the Dakar Rally, the first it has achieved this year, between Wadi Ad Dawasir Y Bisha, a journey that the Spanish Carlos Sainz (Audi) completed in second position and in which the leader of the general, the Qatari Nasser Al Attiyah (Toyota) maintained its wide lead of more than half an hour.
The 375-kilometer special was expected to be very fast, although with the danger of the numerous track crossings in the Saudi Arabian desert and Sainz went all out from the start. As he passed kilometer 42, he had eight seconds over Peterhansel, with whom he was going to have an intense duel until the end.
Sainz stayed in first position on the third-to-last stage at the 85-kilometer checkpoint, but his Audi teammate passed him on the next stage, taking 21 seconds from him. The Frenchman reached 128 km with fourteen seconds over the Matador in a battle for victory that began to settle for the Frenchman with a gap of 1m45s.
At that time, Al Attiyah put Loeb into the fight for the general classification for more than a minute, but they practically rolled from wheel to wheel, with only two seconds ahead of the leader at the penultimate checkpoint (kilometer 252). With the victory resolved for Peterhansel and the second place for Sainz, Loeb pressed in the final part of the route to put 1’25 “to the Qatari, although he remains in the general at 32’40” with two days of competition remaining.
The Argentinian Orlando Newfoundland (Bahrain Raid Xtreme), who won the sixth stage and is fourth overall, reached the podium in the tenth, snatching it from the South African Henk Lategan, winner of the fifth day of the Dakar. For Peterhansel it was 49 his car win score, one less than Ari Vatanen, who holds the record in the category.