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
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.