Sebastien Loeb extends lead in Dakar Rally

Buenos Aires, Jan 13 (IANS) Nine-time World rally champion Sebastien Loeb extended his overall lead in the Dakar Rally by winning the 10th stage in Argentina.

The 42-year-old Frenchman finished the 448km journey on Thursday from Chilecito to San Juan in four hours 54 minutes and 28 seconds, two minutes and 33 seconds ahead of compatriot and Peugeot teammate Cyril Despres,reports Xinhua.

Defending champion Stephane Peterhansel was third, six minutes and 45 seconds behind Loeb, completing a clean sweep of the stage podium for France and Peugeot.

Loeb leads the overall standings, eight minutes and 23 seconds ahead of Peterhansel, while Despres is third, 19 minutes and 50 seconds off the pace.

Earlier, Spain’s Joan Barreda won the motorcycle category stage on his Honda, 24 seconds ahead of Slovakian KTM rider Svitko Stefan.

Argentina’s Franco Caimi was third on his Honda, three minutes and 48 seconds behind Barreda.

Great Britain’s Sam Sunderland leads the overall bike standings, 30 minutes and one second ahead of KTM teammate Matthias Walkner of Austria.

Spanish KTM rider Gerard Farres Guell is third, 38 minutes and 43 seconds behind Sunderland.