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Loeb wins maiden Dakar Rally stage

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-01-05 09:35

Loeb wins maiden Dakar Rally stage

Sebastien Loeb of France gets out of his Peugeot at the end of the Villa Carlos Paz-Termas de Rio Hondo second stage in the Dakar Rally 2016 in Cordoba province, Argentina, January 4, 2016.  [Photo/Agencies]

BUENOS AIRES - Nine-time world rally champion Sebastien Loeb won the second stage of the 2016 Dakar Rally on Monday as his rivals floundered in the muddy conditions.

The 41-year-old Frenchman, who is competing in the event for the first time, led from the outset to finish two minutes and 23 seconds ahead of Peugeot colleague Stephane Peterhansel.

The Villa Carlos Paz to Termas de Rio Hondo section was reduced to 240 miles from 317 miles as the heavy rain that washed out Sunday's first stage continued.

"That was quite good news at the end because I didn't believe it," a delighted Loeb said.

"I was stuck in the mud at the middle of the stage and was lucky to get out. I got stuck for maybe two minutes, something like that. At that moment I didn't believe I would get out like I did.

"Finally, I managed to join the field again and resume the stage, but it was really on the limit so I was a bit afraid. Apart from that, I had a good stage with no problems, trying to find a good rhythm and it was ok."

Russian Vladimir Vasilyev in a Toyota was third while Qatar's 2015 winner Nasser Al-Attiyah was four minutes and 18 seconds off the pace in his Mini.


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