Peterhansel wins Dakar Rally third stage for cars

Buenos Aires, Jan 5 (IANS) Defending champion Stephane Peterhansel recovered from a slow start to clinch the third stage of the Dakar Rally for cars.

The 51-year-old Frenchman rallied late to finish the 780-km stage from Tucuman to Jujuy in four hours 18 minutes and 17 seconds, almost two minutes ahead of his Peugeot car team-mate Carlos Sainz of Spain, reports Xinhua.

France’s nine-time world rally champion Sebastien Loeb, also in a Peugeot, crossed the line in third, three more minutes behind Peterhansel.

Earlier, Spain’s Joan Barreda assumed the overall lead in the motorcycle category by taking the third stage in four hours 23 minutes and 41 seconds on his Honda.

The 33-year-old finished more than 12 minutes ahead of KTM rider Sam Sunderland of Britain, with Frenchman Pierre Renet another three minutes further back on his Husqvarna.

Australia’s defending champion Toby Price was ninth on his KTM, more than 21 minutes adrift of Barreda.

Barreda also leads the overall standings, 10 minutes ahead of Sunderland and 13 minutes clear of Portugal’s Paulo Goncalves.