DAKAR: Peterhansel named stage winner after colliding with rider

2017-01-12 22:30:25

As the Dakar Rally resumed on Thursday following Stage 9's cancellation, a collision between 12-time Dakar winner Stephane Peterhansel and KTM rider Simon Marcic looked to give Sebastien Loeb the stage win until organizers reversed the decision.

Peterhansel was leading the race – which resumed with a 280-mile stage from Chilecito to San Juan, Argentina – until he collided with biker Simon Marcic. Peterhansel stopped to assist Marcic, waiting for the medical team to arrive before resuming. Marcic reportedly suffered a broken leg.

That gave Sebastien Loeb the chance to take the lead and win the stage by six minutes, with Cyril Despres finishing runner-up. But Peterhansel was given back the time he spent assisting Marcic (about 14) and was declared the stage winner, finishing ahead of Loeb by 7m28s.

"Today was a really complicated with a lot of navigation in the river beds. Everybody was completely lost. [Marcic] was in reverse and just when he saw me he braked, he braked and crashed and I stopped on him. I saw that his leg was broken but he was still conscious. We stayed for about 15 or 20 minutes with him to wait for the medical helicopter. After it was really complicated to restart, to drive with a good speed. It wasn't an easy day. We need to do the calculation to know exactly what the time is, probably first – but the main thing wasn't the race today, it was the crash with [Marcic]."

Peterhansel's overall lead now stands at 5m,50 seconds over Loeb.

“We did our best on the first section," Loeb said. "I pushed really hard from the first to the last meter of the second portion of the day, so I couldn't do much better. I think it was impossible to go any faster. I tried all I could. We will see. I think we lost a lot on the previous section, so I was really angry and I pushed and tried everything on this one. I've no idea about the times, so I cannot say anything.”

The bikes category was won by France's Michael Metge, followed 55 seconds behind by multi-stage winner Joan Barreda and Stefan Svitko, who collapsed a few miles in to the link stage and was taken to the hospital.

Overall category leader Sam Sunderland wound up 13th after a navigation mistake sent him in the wrong direction.

"With so many riverbeds at the beginning it was tough to follow the correct one," explained the British rider. "I made a few mistakes before the refuel and that got me stressed out because I didn't know where the other bikes were. Then at the refuel there were only three bikes there so I knew my mistakes hadn't been too costly."

Pablo Quintanilla, who was second overall at the start of Stage 10, had navigation issues for an hour before he suffered a heavy fall on the second part of the special. He has been diagnosed with a head trauma and was forced to withdraw from the event.

Quad category standings leader Sergey Karyakin took a decisive win over Chile's Ignacio Casale with a gap of 10 minutes, and now leads Casale by just over 21 minutes.

In trucks, 2013 category winner Eduardo Nikolaev set Thursday's fastest time, helping him take the overall lead over Kamaz teammate Dmitry Sotnikov, who finished second in the stage.

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