'Rookie' Loeb speeds to maiden Dakar stage win

Sebastien Loeb (File)
Sebastien Loeb (File)

Termas de Ro Hondo - Nine-time rally world champion Sebastien Loeb won his first Dakar Rally stage on Monday, the 387km run between Villa Carlos Paz and Termas de Rio Hondo in Argentina.

At the wheel of a Peugeot the 41-year-old Frenchman took 3 hours 45mins and 46sec to complete the second stage, which had been shortened due to a section being badly effected by heavy overnight rain.

Stephane Peterhansel, a 50-year-old Frenchman, also in a Peugeot and a multiple Dakar winner, came in second some 2min 30sec adrift.

Russia's Vladimir Vasilyev in a Toyota was third while 2015 winner the Qatari Nasser Al-Attiyah racing a Mini was 4min 18sec off Loeb's pace.

The race is something of a leap in the dark for Loeb, who dominated the world rally championship during his long collaboration with Citroen.

He now leads overall from Peterhansel and Vasilyev.

Earlier in the day, 28-year-old Australian Toby Price won the motorbike version of stage two on his KTM after winning a stage in 2015 when he finished third overall in his own maiden Dakar.

Thunderstorms and heavy rain had already forced the cancellation of Sunday's opening stage because of safety concerns, a day after 10 people were injured when a car crashed into spectators during the prologue.

Dakar Rally Stage 2 results:

CARS
1. Sébastien Loeb   (FRA)   03:45:46
2. Stéphane Peterhansel   (FRA)   +00:02:23
3. Vladimir Vasilyev   (RUS)   +00:02:38
4. Giniel de Villiers   (ZAF)   +00:03:01
5. Mikko Hirvonen   (FIN)   +00:03:05

BIKES
1. Toby Price   (AUS)   03:46:24
2. Ruben Faria   (PRT)   +00:00:20
3. Stefan Svitko   (SVK)   +00:01:28
4. Alain Duclos    (FRA)    +00:01:51
5. Matthias Walkner   (AUT)   +00:02:00

TRUCKS
1. Hans Stacey   (NLD)   04:18:18
2. Pieter Versluis    (NLD)    00:00:48
3. Gerard de Rooy   (NLD)   +00:01:51
4. Martin Kolomy   (CZE)   +00:02:39
5. Federico Villagra   (ARG)   +00:02:44

QUADS
1. Ignacio Casale   (CHL)   04:10:47
2. Brian Baragwanath   (ZAF)   +00:03:49
3. Alejandro Patronelli   (ARG) +00:03:58
4. Marcelo Medeiros   (BRA)   +00:04:11
5. Marcos Patronelli   (ARG)   +00:06:32

Dakar Rally Overall standings:

CARS
1. Sébastien Loeb   (FRA)   03:52:03
2. Stéphane Peterhansel   (FRA)   +00:02:23
3. Vladimir Vasilyev   (RUS)   +00:02:42
4. Giniel de Villiers   (ZAF)   +00:03:01
5. Mikko Hirvonen   (FIN)   +00:03:03

BIKES
1. Toby Price   (AUS)   03:53:09
2. Ruben Faria   (PRT)   +00:00:02
3. Stefan Svitko   (SVK)   +00:01:21
4. Alain Duclos    (FRA)    +00:01:53
5. Matthias Walkner   (AUT)   +00:01:59

TRUCKS
1. Hans Stacey   (NLD)   04:18:18
2. Pieter Versluis    (NLD)    00:00:48
3. Gerard de Rooy   (NLD)   +00:01:51
4. Martin Kolomy   (CZE)   +00:02:39
5. Federico Villagra   (ARG)   +00:02:44

QUADS
1. Ignacio Casale   (CHL)   04:18:01
2. Brian Baragwanath   (ZAF)   +00:04:00
3. Alejandro Patronelli   (ARG) +00:04:06
4. Marcelo Medeiros   (BRA)   +00:04:23
5. Marcos Patronelli   (ARG)   +00:06:37

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