LIMA, Peru — Nasser Al-Attiyah won the penultimate stage to prolong his Dakar Rally lead to practically an hour on Wednesday, and rider Toby Value completed together with his important rivals to maintain the motorcycle lead in Peru.
As soon as once more, Al-Attiyah prevented the difficulty his different rivals discovered on the 313-kilometer, four-hour loop within the dunes round Pisco.
Stephane Peterhansel, essentially the most profitable driver on this planet’s hardest rally, stop 26 kilometers in when co-driver David Castera harm his again. It is the primary time in 10 years that the 13-time champion has deserted the race, and solely the fourth time in 31 years. He was fourth total on the time.
Sebastien Loeb, third total, was gunning for a fifth stage win till his transmission broke about 60 kilometers from the end. Then his spare broke 40 kilometers out. He misplaced greater than an hour and remained third on the stage, however total fell two hours behind Al-Attiyah.
Cyril Despres took over the stage lead however flipped his automotive about 20 kilometers from the end. By the point assist got here, he’d misplaced 39 minutes.
That left Al-Attiyah in a position to play it secure, and he won the stage by 5 minutes from Nani Roma to prolong his lead over Roma within the common standings to 51 minutes. He appears to be like set to have fun a 3rd Dakar victory on Thursday after the brief drive into Lima.
“Every single day we work very laborious to be quick and never make errors,” Al-Attiyah stated. “Me and Mathieu (Baumel, co-driver), the group, work very laborious to maintain our automotive match. The buggy is an efficient automotive. We have adopted our technique from the start. We have been main since stage three and build up the (hole) day by day. We’re fairly glad.”
The motorcycle drama began earlier than the stage. British rider Sam Sunderland, the 2017 champion in title competition at fourth, was penalized an hour. Argentine rider Kevin Benavides, within the high 10, was penalized three hours. Then Adrien van Beveren, fifth total, suffered a damaged engine with 16 kilometers to go and was out.
That left a transparent high three of Value, Pablo Quintanilla, and defending champion Matthias Walkner, all inside six minutes of one another. However no one attacked. From a mass begin, they rode collectively and completed collectively — behind stage winner Michael Metge of Argentina — and retained their total positions.
Walkner stated there was chaos when the primary rider obtained misplaced, and the race leaders adopted him. No person then needed to take a danger.
“It appeared a simple day, nevertheless it wasn’t. There was extra to lose on a day like this than to win, so I simply tried to stick with the highest guys in entrance and do nothing silly,” Walkner stated. “The prospect for the rostrum is kind of good.”
Value was content material. The 2016 champion is nursing a sore proper wrist.
“I do know it is going to be very laborious tomorrow, and I am going to give it my greatest,” Value stated. “I do know I am probably to be on the rostrum tomorrow, and it is wonderful, however I would like to win.”
Quintanilla, solely a minute behind Value, promised to “give it my 100 % to win the race” for his first Dakar title.