Broken leg forces defending champion Price out of Dakar

Broken leg forces defending champion Price out of Dakar
Peugeot's pilot Stephane Peterhansel and co-pilot Jean Paul Cottret compete during the Dakar Rally between San Miguel de Tucuman and San Salvador de Jujuy, in Argentina. (AFP)
Updated 05 January 2017

Broken leg forces defending champion Price out of Dakar

Broken leg forces defending champion Price out of Dakar

TUPIZA, Bolivia: Defending motorcycle champion Toby Price of Australia was forced out of the Dakar Rally on Thursday after breaking his left leg in a fall, race officials said.
Price suffered the injury when he tumbled off his KTM motorbike after 371km of the fourth stage from San Salvador de Jujuy in Argentina to Tupiza in Bolivia as the 9,000km race climbed into the dizzying altitudes of the Andes.
Earlier in the day, Qatari two-time auto winner Nasser Al-Attiyah was also forced to pull out, his Toyota team said.
The 46-year-old, the 2011 and 2015 champion, did not start Thursday’s stage after losing the wheel of his car during the previous day’s special, leaving him down in 25th in the overall standings overnight.
Meanwhile, defending champion Stephane Peterhansel led a Peugeot sweep of the top-three finishing spots on the third stage of the Dakar Rally on Wednesday with teammate Sebastien Loeb narrowly retaining the overall lead.
Peterhansel, 51, seeking a 13th career triumph in the gruelling 9,000km endurance event, finished the San Miguel de Tucuman to San Salvador de Jujuy stage in Argentina in 4 hours 18 min 17 sec.
Carlos Sainz, the 2010 champion, was second, coming home 1 min 54 sec behind the Frenchman Peterhansel. Third was nine-time world rally champion Loeb at 3 min 8 sec off the lead.
Loeb stays in the overall lead with a paper-thin 0.42sec advantage over Sainz and a 4.18sec gap on Peterhansel.
“It’s a really good day for Peugeot. We’ve lost, not completely but probably, two rivals in Nasser Al Attiyah and Giniel de Villiers, so it’s a little bit clearer at the front of the race,” said Peterhansel, who had struggled in the first two stages, finishing seventh and 12th.
Wednesday’s stage was split into two sections with the second part over a 124km timed run seeing the competitors race at altitude hitting 5,000m for the first time in the 2017 event.
However, it was a test too far for Toyota, who are seen as Peugeot’s major rivals for the title.