Loeb wins as Peterhansel, Attiyah struggle

Peugeot’s French driver Sebastien Loeb and co-driver Daniel Elena compete during the Stage 2 of the Dakar 2019 between Pisco and San Juan de Marcona, Peru, Tuesday. — AFP

SAN JUAN DE MARCONA, Peru — Frenchman Sebastien Loeb claimed victory in the second stage of the Dakar Rally raced across challenging desert dunes Tuesday, as main rivals Stephane Peterhansel and Nasser al-Attiyah had days to forget.

Nine-time world rally champion Loeb, driving a private Peugeot entry after the French car manufacturer’s decision to withdraw from the race, held off the Mini of Nani Roma over the last kilometres of the second of ten stages between Pisco and San Juan de Marcona to win by eight seconds.

Dutchman Bernhard ten Brinke, driving a Toyota, was third at 1min 20sec, while South African Giniel de Villiers finished fourth to take over as race leader.

Frenchman Peterhansel, who has won the Dakar six times on the motorbike and seven times in a car, paid the price after running his Mini aground in the dunes, eventually finishing 15 minutes behind Loeb.

Peterhansel’s teammate Attiyah, a double Dakar winner in 2011 and 2015, saw his overnight lead disappear as he could only finish 11th, 7:37 off the pace. — AFP