Sebastien Loeb attained victory in the cars category at Stage 5 of the 2017 Dakar Rally, as veteran Stephane Peterhansel took control of the general classification at the top of the leaderboard on Friday.
Loeb had suffered during the previous stage, dropping 22 minutes, but he recovered on the 692-kilometre course between Tupiza and Oruro in Bolivia.
The success was the Frenchman's second stage victory in South America during the current competition.
Great Britain's Sam Sunderland was victorious in the bikes section, romping to the win by over seven minutes.
Kees Koolen dominated in the quads as he grabbed victory, also winning by over seven minutes. Maganov Ravil was the winner in the UTV section, and Gerard De Rooy prevailed in the trucks.
The competition's official Twitter account announced the stage results in the main events:
Here's what the schedule looks like for the rest of the rally:
|Dakar Rally 2017: Remaining Schedule|
|Stage||Date||Bike/Quad Distance (KM)||Car/UTV Distance (KM)||Truck Distance (KM)|
|6||Saturday, Jan. 7||786||786||772|
|Rest Day||Sunday, Jan. 8|
|7||Monday, Jan. 9||622||622||622|
|8||Tuesday, Jan. 10||892||892||892|
|9||Wednesday, Jan. 11||977||977||977|
|10||Thursday, Jan. 12||751||751||751|
|11||Friday, Jan. 13||759||759||759|
|12||Saturday, Jan. 14||786||786||786|
The Dakar gave route information for the current stage:
For full route information, visit the competition's official website.
There was a smile on Loeb's face as he rescued a small portion of time on Stage 5, after bombing out of contention on Thursday.
The French ace won the stage by 44 seconds in his Peugeot, ahead of second-placed Nani Roma. Loeb will need the top drivers to help him in the days to come, hoping they have difficulties in future stages.
Peterhansel's consistency sees him take control of the general classification, as confirmed by the Dakar's official Twitter feed:
Bad weather conditions affected the day's action, which saw the stage cut short early for safety reasons.
The bikes section saw Sunderland's impressive form continue, and he was rewarded with a stage victory after threatening in previous days.
Bikes leader Joan Barreda fought hard after being given an hour time penalty after Stage 4, punished with team-mates Michael Metge and Paulo Goncalves for refuelling in a prohibited area.
The Dakar highlighted his struggle approaching WP4:
Nobody could touch Koolen in his quad, and the seven-minute gap between himself and Gustavo Gallego of Argentina was not unjust.
Koolen was ecstatic with his stage win, and shared his delight on Twitter:
As for the cars section, Loeb appeared a huge threat to the title in the opening stages, but the nature of the rally means a charge can be derailed in quick time.
However, as others suffered in poor conditions after the start in Tupiza, the Frenchman displayed his powers of recovery, which were not present Thursday.
Barreda will be distraught after a poor decision cost him a huge amount of time, but he performed well on the shortened course that was scheduled to finish in Oruro.
The hour penalty may yet scupper his chances of glory against a high-class field, but he has every chance of a magnificent comeback with his natural speed and agility over rough terrain.