Dakar Rally: France's Stephane Peterhansel wins for the 14th time
France's Stephane Peterhansel on Friday won the Dakar Rally for the 14th time. He emerged triumphant 30 years after his initial success in the most grueling event on the motorsports calendar. Peterhansel, nicknamed 'Mr. Dakar', has now won the car category eight times, having also won the motorbike category six times. Here are further details on the same.
Peterhansel said winning the Dakar is always really complicated as there are no easy victories here. "To win the Dakar is always really complicated," he said. "There are no easy victories on the Dakar. This one from the outside may be looked easy, but it was not easy every day to manage the small gap over Nasser."
The 55-year-old Mini driver, aided by co-pilot Edouard Boulanger, finished 14min 51sec ahead of Qatari Nasser al-Attiyah (Toyota). Spain's Carlos Sainz, the winner of Friday's 12th and final stage from Yanbu to Jeddah, got a place at the podium in another Mini.
Peterhansel said that experience and the ability to stay calm helped him win. "Experience and being able to stay calm helped to win," he said. "The first victory on the motorcycle is my favorite because it was the one that I dreamed a lot of and now it's really a bonus. Winning is always a big emotion, but the first victory was the best."
Argentina's Kevin Benavides won the motorbike category, leading home defending champion Ricky Brabec of the USA by 4:56 in a first Honda 1-2 since 1987. Briton Sam Sunderland, the 2017 champion, finished third.