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Dakar Rally: Loeb wins fifth stage, Al Attiyah stays on top overall

Sebastien Loeb

Arequipa (Peru), January 12: Nine-time world rally champion Sebastien Loeb claimed the honours in a private entry Peugeot for his second stage win of this year's edition at Dakar Rally, but Qatar's Nasser Saleh Al Attiyah continued to hold the advantage with a second-place finish.

Loeb finished more than 10 minutes in front of two-time Dakar champion and overnight leader Al Attiyah in a Toyota and 24min 04sec ahead of Spain's Nani Roma in a Mini.

Beautiful stage

Beautiful stage

"It was a beautiful stage and we attacked strongly," said Loeb who had endured three punctures on Thursday's fourth stage.

It's not all been plain sailing for the Frenchman in the first five stages, but he can enjoy his rest day with the podium positions within reach.

Advantage Al Attiyah

Advantage Al Attiyah

It was advantage to Al Attiyah at the very front of the car race on the trip back to Arequipa as he stretched his lead.

The Qatari also shrugged off Loeb's performance. "Sebastien had nothing to lose, he had to push to climb back into the time charts," the Red Bull athlete said.

"As far as I'm concerned, I think the 13-time winner (Stephane Peterhansel) is the dangerman."

Disastrous day

Disastrous day

However, Peterhansel is now 24 minutes behind Al Attiyah in the title race after a fourth-place finish on Friday, 26 minutes back from Loeb and 16 off his Qatari rival.

It was a disastrous day for Peterhansel whose car became ensnared in binding 'fesh fesh' dune grass and had to be towed out by Roma.

Rest day

Rest day

Spaniard Roma had his first podium of the 2019 Dakar Rally. The MINI driver and his compatriot Alex Haro Bravo, who towed out Peterhansel out of trouble is perched overall as well.

After a day of rest,expect battle plans for the final five stages to be drawn up in Arequipa by those still in with a shot at Dakar glory.

 
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Story first published: Saturday, January 12, 2019, 14:19 [IST]
Other articles published on Jan 12, 2019
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