Sébastien Loeb has (finally) found a smile. Ranked 28th at 1h35 from the first at the start of the fourth stage of the Dakar, Sébastien Loeb recovered and beat Peterhansel (Audi) by 13 seconds, thus accelerating to “Monsieur Dakar” to clinch his 50th stage victory, according to preliminary results.
This victory of the day, in the dunes and the sand found after two days rich in stones, and broken, brings a little balm to the heart for the Prodrive again mistreated: Orlanda Terranova returned to the camp because of pain in the back . His team said in the afternoon that he should consult his physiotherapist before determining the continuation of his course.
Mechanical problem for Chicherit
As for Guerlain Chicherit, winner the day before, he suffered a mechanical problem around the 342nd km which he had to repair.
In the provisional general classification, Toyota takes the first two places: the Qatari and defending champion Nasser Al-Attiyah is in the lead with 18 minutes and 18 seconds ahead of his teammate, the Saudi Yazeed Al-Rajhi. The hybrid Audis occupy 3rd and 4th places, with Stéphane Peterhansel (+18 minutes and 52 seconds and Carlos Sainz (+32 minutes and 55 seconds).
First victory for Barreda
On the motorcycle side, the Spaniard Joan Barreda (Honda) signs his first stage victory of this 45th Dakar, distancing the Chilean Pablo Quintanilla (Honda) by 16 seconds and the American Skyler Howes (Husqvarna) by 1 minute and 5 seconds, according to a provisional classification.
The American Mason Klein (KTM), 2nd in the classification before the 4th stage, has long been on the heels of Sanders and Howes in the group of openers for this special. He finally stalled from kilometer 380 due to a problem that he had to repair, which cost him 10 minutes and his place on the podium of the provisional general classification.
The game of penalties and bonuses served the Australian Sanders who retains first place in the provisional general classification, and Howes who takes second at 3 minutes and 33 seconds, followed by the Argentinian Kevin Benavides (KTM) at 4 minutes and 5 seconds.
Klein tumbles to sixth place more than 10 minutes behind Sanders, behind Barreda, the winner of the day, now 4th and Australian Toby Price (KTM), double winner of the event in 2016 and 2019. Thursday, the fifth stage will keep Hail as a backdrop, for a 649 km loop, 374 of which are timed.