Motorsport

Lightning Loeb blows away Dakar Rally rivals

2017-01-03 21:35
Sebastien Loeb (File)

Tucuman - Decorated Frenchman Sebastien Loeb scorched to victory in the second stage of the Dakar Rally on Tuesday to send the nine-time rally world champion clear in the overall standings.

Loeb completed the 275km timed section between Resistencia and San Miguel de Tucuman in northern Argentina in 2 hours 6 minutes and 55 seconds for his fifth career stage victory in the gruelling race.

Last year he finished ninth overall.

Tuesday's performance on day two of the race was enough to lift him clear in the overall classification as he saw off Qatari opening-day winner Nasser Al Attiyah by 1:23 and fellow Peugeot man Carlos Sainz of Spain by 2:18.

That gave Loeb a 28 second overall lead over Attiyah and he leads Sainz by 1:56.

Australia's KTM rider and defending champion Toby Price meanwhile took the overall race lead on the motorbikes as he landed the day's stage honours.

Price, 29, covered the 275km in 2 hours 37 minutes and 32 seconds, ahead of Austrian Matthias Walkner and Spaniard Paulo Goncalves.

Both of the Aussie's pursuers are now more than two-and-a-half minutes adrift in the overall standings.

Price finished the opening day in 17th position.

This year's Dakar Rally takes competitors into high altitudes during 9 000km of racing, culminating in a grandstand finish at Buenos Aires on January 14.

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