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France's Peterhansel wins 13th Dakar Rally title

Editor: zhenglimin 丨Xinhua

01-15-2017 10:25 BJT

BUENOS AIRES, Jan. 14 (Xinhua) -- France's Stephane Peterhansel held off a challenge from compatriot and Peugeot teammate Sebastien Loeb to claim his 13th Dakar Rally title in Argentina on Saturday.

The 51-year-old's second place in the final 786km stage from Rio Cuarto to Buenos Aires was enough to ensure he finished on top of the overall standings with an elapsed time of 28 hours 49minutes and 30 seconds.

Loeb clocked the fastest time on Saturday to finish second overall, five minutes and 13 seconds behind Peterhansel.

Cyril Despres completed a clean sweep of the podium places for France and Peugeot by taking third, 33 minutes and 28 seconds off the pace.

"This victory is particularly sweet because the competition was so high," Peterhansel said. "Battling Sebastien and finishing just a few minutes ahead is no mean feat.

"I want to thank Peugeot for these exceptional cars and most of all for not imposing any orders on the team, which I think exemplifies fair play and sportsmanship because the conditions were the same for everybody."

It was Peterhansel's seventh Dakar Rally triumph in the car category to go with his six titles on a motorcycle.

Nine-time world rally champion Loeb posted his best ever finish in the annual off-road event, having competed for the first time last year.

"We gave it everything, held nothing back," Loeb said. "We had a beautiful race. Second this year, we'll have to do better next year."

Earlier, Sam Sunderland became the first British Dakar Rally champion when he won the motorbike class.

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