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Stephane Peterhansel extends Dakar Rally lead with stage win as Sebastien Loeb abandons race

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Editor’s note: Check out Stage 5 highlights on NBCSN at 1:30 a.m. ET Thursday.

The fifth stage of the Dakar Rally ended Wednesday with a notable absence.

Stephane Peterhansel won the stage to increase his overall lead to 31:16 over Carlos Sainz (fourth in the fifth stage) while a major contender was eliminated.

Sebastien Loeb, Peterhansel’s Peugeot teammate, retired from the race after  co-driver Daniel Elena sustained a back injury.

Loeb had been in second place overall after winning the fourth stage Tuesday. The Frenchman is one of the most successful rally drivers in history, winning the World Rally Championship title in a record nine consecutive seasons (2004-12). This marked his second attempt at the Dakar Rally after finishing second in the cars division last year.

MORE: Dakar Rally daily stages schedule, NBCSN broadcast schedule, list of all competitors.

MORE: Stage 4 wrapup

MORE: Stage 3 wrapup

MORE: Stage 2 wrapup

MORE: Stage 1 wrapup

Peterhansel, a 13-time Dakar champion in all categories, notched his first stage win of the 2018 event by winning the 266-kilometer leg between San Juan de Marcona and Arequipa in Peru in 2 hours, 51 minutes, 19 seconds. The Frenchman finished 4:54 ahead of The Netherlands’ Bernhard ten Brinke (who is 1:15:16 behind the overall lead in a Toyota).

Andre Villas-Boas, a former soccer manager for Porto, Chelsea and Tottenham, abandoned his Dakar debut after suffering back pain from a sand dune crash in the fourth stage.

In other classifications, Spain’s Joan Barreda Bort of Honda won the fifth stage of the bikes division. France’s Adrien van Beveren (Yamaha) held onto the overall lead after finishing fifth. Argentina’s Kevin Benavides trails by 1 minute.

Defending truck champion Eduard Nikolaev won the fifth stage and trails overall leader Federico Villagra by 58:05.


  1. France’s Stephane Peterhansel, Peugeot, 2:51:19
  2. The Netherlands’ Bernhard ten Brinke, Toyota, 2:56:11
  3. South Africa’s Giniel de Villiers, Toyota, 3:04:06
  4. Spain’s Carlos Sainz, Peugeot, 3:09:29
  5. Qatar’s Nasser Al-Attiyah, Toyota, 3:15:52


  1. France’s Stephane Peterhansel
  2. Spain’s Carlos Sainz
  3. Netherland’s Bernhard ten Brinke
  4. Qatar’s Nasser Al-Attiyah
  5. South Africa’s Giniel de Villiers




  1. Spain’s Joan Barreda Bort, Honda, 3:19:42
  2. Austria’s Matthias Walkner, KTM, 3:30:08
  3. Argentina’s Kevin Benavides, Honda, 3:32:02
  4. France’s Antoine Meo, KTM, 3:32:42
  5. France’s Adrien van Beveren, Yamaha, 3:34:17


Ninth: Ricky Brabec (Honda), 3:38:58

23rd: Andrew Short (Husqvarna), 3:52:32

31st: Shane Esposito (KTM), 4:03:51

32nd: Mark Samuels (Honda), 4:05:45

86th: Bill Conger (Husqvarna), 6:03:15


  1. France’s Adrien van Beveren
  2. Argentina’s Kevin Benavides
  3. Austria’s Matthias Walkner
  4. Spain’s Joan Barreda Bort
  5. France’s Xavier de Soutrait



  1. Russia’s Eduard Nikolaev, Kamaz, 3:37:12
  2. Belarus’ Siarhei Viazovhich, Maz, 3:43:35
  3. The Netherlands’ Ton Van Genugten, Iveco, 3:50:09
  4. Russia’s Dmitry Sotnikov, Kamaz, 3:50:35
  5. Argentina’s Federico Villagra, Iveco, 3:58:22


  1. Russia’s Eduard Nikolaev
  2. Argentina’s Federico Villagra
  3. Belarus’s Siarhei Vlazovich
  4. Czech Republic’s Martin Macik
  5. Japan’s Teruhito Sugawara



  1. Argentina’s Nicolas Cavigliasso, Yamaha, 4:12:47
  2. Chile’s Ignacio Casale, Yamaha, 4:14:10
  3. Peru’s Alexis Hernandez Yamaha, 4:19:22
  4. Chile’s Giovanni Enrico, Yamaha, 4:25:42
  5. Brazil’s Marcelo Medeiros, Yamaha, 4:26:55


  1. Chile’s Ignacio Casale
  2. Peru’s Alexis Hernandez
  3. Argentina’s Pablo Copetti
  4. Argentina’s Nicolas Cavigliasso
  5. Argentina’s Gustavo Gallego



  1. Brazil’s Reinaldo Varela, Can-Am, 3:42:42
  2. Peru’s Juan Carlos Uribe Ramos, Can-Am, 3:58:19
  3. Spain’s Jose Luis Pena Campos, Polaris, 4:20:37
  4. France’s Claudio Fournier, Polaris, 4:56:45
  5. Peru’s Anibal Aliaga, Polaris, 5:09:00


  1. Brazil’s Reinaldo Varela
  2. Peru’s Juan Carlos Uribe Ramos
  3. France’s Patricie Garrouste
  4. Peru’s Anibal Aliaga
  5. France’s Claudio Fournier


STAGE 6: The Rally will leave Peru for Bolivia, bound Thursday to the country’s capital La Paz.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Formula E: Vergne outlasts di Grassi for Punta del Este victory

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Saturday’s Punta del Este ePrix did not disappoint, with Techeetah’s Jean-Eric Vergne and Audi Sport ABT Schaeffler’s Lucas di Grassi engaging in a thrilling battle throughout the entire race.

Vergne led the way from the pole, having been promoted up the grid after original pole sitter di Grassi was ruled to have cut a chicane during his pole lap, but di Grassi was right on the back wing of Vergne the entire way and made several attempts to get by.

The intense battle between the two, which saw them nearly lock Vergne’s rear wing with di Grassi’s front nose, stayed remarkably clean for the most part, and Vergne was able to hold off all of di Grassi’s advances, a few of which can be viewed below, to take the win.

DS Virgin Racing’s Sam Bird was also on the charge, the British driver coming from ninth on the grid to take third.

Full race results can be viewed here. The victory sees Vergne extend his points lead over Mahindra Racing’s Felix Rosenqvist, who finished fifth, to 30 points, with Vergne on 109 markers and Rosenqvist on 79.

Bird sits third with 76 points, respectively.