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Stephane Peterhansel Wins Dakar Rally For Record-Extending 14th Time

PISCO, PERU – JANUARY 16: Toyota Gazoo Racing Sa no. 302 TOYOTA HILUX car driven by Giniel De Villiers of South Africa and Dirk Von Zitzewitz of Germany compete in the sand, desert and dunes during Stage Nine of the 2019 Dakar Rally near Ica on January 16, 2019 in Pisco, Peru. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

 

Frenchman Stephane Peterhansel won the 2021 Dakar Rally finishing ahead of Qatari Nasser al-Attiyah with reigning champion Carlos Sainz of Spain coming in third.

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Peterhansel, driving an X-raid Mini, finished 14 minutes 51 seconds in the overall standings ahead of al-Attiyah having claimed a third-placed finish during the final stage behind Sainz and al-Attiyah respectively.

The win was the 55-year-old’s record-extending 14th victory at Dakar. He has eight wins in the cars category and six in the motorbikes category.

The win also came 30 years since his first title in the event for Yamaha in the motorbikes category.

Peterhansel may have only won one out of 12 stages during the event but having taken the overall lead after the second stage, he consistently finished within the top three and never gave up time to his main rivals.

Peterhansel’s victory was a bittersweet one for France as news of the death of motorcyclist Pierre Cherpin from injuries from a crash broke shortly before Peterhansel’s feat.

The 52-year-old, who was participating in his fourth Dakar Rally, was the race’s first fatality this year.

South Africa’s Giniel de Villiers, who drove a Toyota, finished eighth overall.

Elsewhere, Argentine Kevin Benavides (Honda) won the motorbike category ahead of defending champion Ricky Brabec of the United States, while Britain’s Sam Sunderland, winner in 2017, finished third.

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Written by PH

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