Peterhansel sees stars in 'tough' Dakar stage win

Stephane Peterhansel (AP)
Stephane Peterhansel (AP)

San Juan de Marcona - Stephane Peterhansel recovered from an early accident that left his head spinning, to win Monday's seventh stage of the Dakar Rally ahead of Nani Roma with Carlos Sainz in third after 387km of rolling, desert terrain.

Overall leader Nasser Al-Attiyah finished fourth, while Peugeot driver Sebastien Loeb had a day to forget, finishing more than 30 minutes down after suffering an early electrical problem in the stage that began and ended in San Juan de Marcona.

"That was a really hard stage, tough," said the Frenchman. "It wasn't perfect and in fact we (he and his co-driver) have yet to race a perfect stage."

"Early in the race we flew over a dune and suffered such a violent impact I saw stars," said the Mini man who suffered a broken bonnet in the incident.

"But in the end the others did worse than we did."

"And this race isn't finished yet," said Peterhansel, second with three stages remaining.

"Anything can happen to anyone."

Peterhansel, a 13-time winner  who is known as 'Mr Dakar', lost more than 20 minutes on Sunday but this was his second stage win on this year's itinerary.

Toyota's Al-Attiyah retains his large overall lead with 29 minutes and 16sec advantage on Peterhansel with Roma at 37:59. 

Earlier, KTM's Sam Sunderland won the motorbike race ahead of Chile's Jose Ignacio Cornejo Flormino on a Honda while American Ricky Brabec took the overall lead after finishing third.

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