Red Bull SS8: Loeb takes the lead of the Dakar in Salta

Sébastien Loeb © DR

Heavy rains and an overflowed river meant yet another route modification at Dakar Rally 2017. Tuesday’s leg was eventually divided in two parts with a 176-kilometre liaison at the border between Bolivia and Argentina*.

Taking the vehicles through streams and dunes, the second half of this year’s marathon stage climbed up to 4,400m of altitude and saw the French battle in the car category intensify…


When leaving Uyuni this morning, Stéphane Peterhansel was the overall leader. The 12-time Dakar winner opened the road, but had to stop for several minutes after the 110th km, allowing for a fast and furious Sébastien Loeb to overtake him before the first passage control.

This is Loeb’s third win since the start in Asuncion, despite suffering a flat tyre during Stage 8. With Peterhansel finishing 3’35 behind in Salta, his co-pilot Daniel Elena and him are the new overall leaders.

Completing Tuesday’s Team Peugeot Total podium, Cyril Despres took third, 5’13 behind Loeb.

Joan Barreda is the first bike rider to take two stage wins this year, 3’51 ahead of second-placed Matthias Walkner. The KTM rider only preceded his teammate Sam Sunderland by three seconds, allowing the Brit to gain on his rivals in the overall standings.

2014 Dakar winner Ignacio Casale took the line honours for the first time this year with an impressive 5’39 lead over overall leader Sergey Karyakin. Axel Dutrie finished third, 7’16 behind the Chilean rider.

On the truck front, Martin van den Brink scored his second stage win. The Dutchman beat Iveco’s Federico Villagra by 17 seconds, followed by Eduard Nikolaev in his Kamaz truck. His fellow Russian Dmitry Sotnikov retook the overall lead.

*Weather conditions forced the Dakar organisers to shorten Tuesday’s stage to 174km for the trucks, who only raced to the first checkpoint.