Loeb wins pending 'Good Samaritan' Peterhansel verdict

2017-01-12 21:44
Sebastien Loeb (File)

San Juan - Sebastien Loeb was declared the provisional winner of Thursday's Dakar 10th stage but the former rally legend may have to cede first place to Stephane Peterhansel who sportingly stopped to help an injured competitor.

Overall leader Loeb led an all French Peugeot 1-2-3 in the 449kmh timed section between Chilecito and San Juan as the Dakar resumed after Wednesday's ninth stage was called off following a mudslide.

The nine-time world rally champion, fourth on his Dakar debut in 2016, clocked 4hrs 54mins 28sec, with Cyril Despres in second at 2min33sec and Peterhansel third at 6:45sec.

But Peterhansel could well see himself awarded the stage as the defending champion had a lengthy delay after crashing in to Slovenian motorbike rider Simon Marcic at the 83km marker.

Marcic suffered an open left leg fracture and Peterhansel, seeking his 13th Dakar title, "stopped for a long time to assist Marcic awaiting the arrival of assistance before starting again", organisers said.

According to the Dakar rulebook, Peterhansel, second overall, can reclaim the lost time as when a competitor stops to help another for more than three minutes the delay is overlooked.

France's Michael Metge won the motorbike stage as Britain's Sam Sunderland retained the overall lead and Chile's Pablo Quintanilla crashed out.

The older of the two Metge brothers completed the ride in 5hrs 48min 50sec.

In second came Spanish rider Joan Barreda almost one minute adrift with Slovakia's Stefan Svitko in third at 1min 19sec.

Sunderland now tops the overall ranking by half an hour from Austrian Matthias Walkner after the Briton's closest pursuer Quintanilla raised the white flag of surrender after suffering dizzy spells 400kmh into the stage.


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