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.

STAGE 5 RESULTS, CARS

  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

OVERALL LEADERS

  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

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BIKE

STAGE 5 RESULTS

  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

AMERICAN RIDERS 

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

OVERALL LEADERS

  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

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TRUCK

  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

OVERALL LEADERS

  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

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QUADS

  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

OVERALL LEADERS

  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

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SxS UTV

  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

OVERALL LEADERS

  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

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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.

Supercross: Husqvarna’s Jalek Swoll and Malcolm Stewart out with injury

Swoll Stewart injury
Feld Motor Sports/MX Sports Pro Racing/Align Media
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Jalek Swoll and Rockstar Energy Husqvarna teammate Malcolm Stewart sustained injury in separate crashes late last week. Stewart missed Anaheim 2 and Swoll will not mount up for the 250 East season opener in Houston on February 4.

“Spent all of yesterday in the ER and today getting surgery so haven’t been able to make an update post,” Swoll posted on Instagram. “Spiral fractured my humorous yesterday and was lucky enough to get into surgery today. Absolutely heartbroken that I couldn’t show all the hard work me, [Mike Brown], [Aldon Baker], and [Joel Perez] were working on truly felt like this year was going to a big one with massive improvements we made but I guess it just wasn’t my time.”

The team announced on Instagram that Swoll underwent successful surgery to repair a broken bone in his arm, sustained in a practice crash on Friday. After missing the division opener, no further timeline has been given for his return.

Swoll made eight starts in the 250 West division last season with a best finish of fifth. In 2021, he scored his first SuperMotocross win in the outdoor Pro Motocross season at High Point Raceway in Mount Morris, Pennsylvania.

Stewart missed Anaheim 2 due to a practice injury. Likewise, the team did not announce a timetable for Stewart’s return.

He showed a lot of speed in the first two rounds before accidents eliminated him from contention in both rounds. He finished 16th at Anaheim 1 and 15th in San Diego, putting him in a points’ deficit that was already going to be difficult to overcome.

Stewart entered the 2023 season with a ton of confidence and believed all he needed was to stack his chips the right way to get this year’s championship.

Husqvarna is now represented by RJ Hampshire in the 250 West division and Christian Craig in 450s.

Hampshire had a rough weekend in Anaheim 2 and finished 11th in the overall standings after scoring a last place result in Race 2 with a bike sidelined by crash damage and a 13th in Race 3 after another fall.

Craig has not yet scored a top-10 on his 450 with a best of 11th at San Diego and Anaheim 2.

The news of these two injuries comes on the heels of the Pro Circuit Kawasaki team losing three of their four 250 riders.

Last week, Pro Circuit Kawasaki announced Seth Hammaker would miss the season opener with a wrist injury. Almost immediately, it was announced Jo Shimoda would also miss the 250 East opener with a shoulder injury.

Chris Blose will serve as a replacement rider in the 250 East division with Carson Mumford scheduled to replace the injured Austin Forkner in the West.