Peterhansel crashes with bike, regains Dakar lead
Stephane Peterhansel miraculously wrested back the lead of the Dakar Rally after a drama-filled Stage 10 from Chilecito to San Juan.
Early in the 449km stage, Peugeot 3008DKR driver Peterhansel struck KTM rider Simon Marcic who had been doubling back after becoming lost on a stage which offered a lot of tricky navigation in river beds.
Marcic suffered a broken leg with Peterhansel remaining with the Slovenian until medical help arrived.
He was later given back more than 14 minutes by organisers following the incident, leaving him with a 5min50s led over Peugeot team-mate Sebastien Loeb with two stages remaining.
“The biker was turning back and just when he saw me he put the brakes on and crashed and I stopped on him,” Peterhansel said.
“I saw that his leg was broken but he was still conscious. We stayed for about fifteen or twenty minutes with him to wait for the medical helicopter.
“Afterwards, it was really complicated to restart, to drive at a good speed.
“It wasn’t an easy day.”
Cyril Despres remains third overall in another factory Peugeot after finishing third on Stage 10 behind Peterhansel and Loeb.
In the bikes, Michael Metge took a slender 55s win, his maiden stage triumph over Joan Barreda Bort, however he was stripped of the win after receiving a huge penalty for not reaching the way-point.
Amid a chaotic stage, KTM’s Sam Sunderland managed to extend his lead to 30-minutes.
Sunderland’s nearest rival going into Stage 10, Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) was lost for more than one hour and then suffered a heavy fall, leaving him with a head injury and forcing him out of the rally.
Australia’s Todd Smith has dropped to 21st outright after finishing the run in 33rd.