Stephane Peterhansel took a giant step towards victory in the 2016 Dakar Rally after winning Wednesday's 10th stage as both Carlos Sainz and Nasser Al-Attiyah hit major trouble.

By: Pablo Elizalde, News Editor

Stephane Peterhansel took a giant step towards victory in the 2016 Dakar Rally after winning Wednesday's 10th stage as both Carlos Sainz and Nasser Al-Attiyah hit major trouble.

Peterhansel started the day in second place in the standings, behind Sainz, but the Spaniard's chances vanished when he stopped with mechanical problems near the end of the day.

At the time of writing, the Spaniard was still waiting for assistance.

Al-Attiyah, third at the start of the day, lost over 52 minutes after rolling his X-raid Mini.

The day included a 278-km special, with a mammoth connection of 485km from Belen to La Rioja. The start was slightly delayed because of the rising of a river.

Al-Attiyah's day got off to a poor start when he rolled his Mini less than six km into the stage.

Although he eventually managed to continue, the Qatari lost over 28 minutes to Peterhansel at the first control point.

Peterhansel himself - and also Sainz, and Mikko Hirvonen - dropped time early on after getting lost in the dunes, although that did not stop the Frenchman from emerging as the quickest driver by nearly six minutes at CP1.

Peterhansel also set the pace at the second control point, increasing the gap to his closest pursuer - Cyril Despres - to nearly nine minutes.

Sainz, meanwhile, was 20 minutes slower than his French rival.

But it all came to a sudden end for the Spaniard, who stopped with a broken gearbox case 213km into the stage.

It is still unclear if the former WRC champion will continue in the event, but he was still waiting for assistance two hours after Peterhansel had finished.

Peterhansel reached the finish in 4h13m32s, beating Peugeot teammate Despres by 5m40s and Toyota's Vladimir Vasilyev by 12m56s.

Mini's Nani Roma finished the stage in fourth, ahead of Sebastien Loeb in the third-fastest Peugeot today.

Today's result leaves the 11-time Dakar winner a full hour clear of Al-Attiyah in the standings with three stages to run.

Giniel de Villiers is third, 1h12m adrift.

Standings after Stage 10:

Pos.No.Driver

Car

Time/Gap
1 302  Stephane Peterhansel
 Jean-Paul Cottret

Peugeot

32h44m59s
2 300

 Nasser Al-Attiyah

 Matthieu Baumel

Mini

1h00m00s
3 301

 Giniel de Villiers

 Dirk von Zitzewitz

Toyota

1h12m31s
4 315

 Mikko Hirvonen

 Michel Perin

Mini

1h23m51s
5 319

 Leeroy Poulter

 Robert Howie

Toyota

1h33m58s
6 321

 Cyril Despres

 David Castera

Peugeot

1h50m05s
7 304

 Nani Roma

 Alex Haro

Mini

1h50m25s
8 307

 Vladimir Vasilyev

 Konstantin Zhiltsov

Toyota

1h58m07s
9 314

 Sebastien Loeb

 Daniel Elena

Peugeot

2h27m31s
10 323

 Harry Hunt

 Andy Schulz

Mini

2h28m41s

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