Carlos Sainz during the Dakar Rally. (Red Bull Content Pool Photo)

Sainz & Loeb Dakar Battle Rages On

In the 46th Dakar Rally’s 10th stage, 371 kilometers were racked up on Wednesday as the ultimate class battle between Carlos Sainz and Sébastien Loeb raged on.

Sainz had a stroke of misfortune, finding himself without a spare wheel after getting not one, but two flat tires. His title prospects would have been dead and buried had Mattias Ekström not come to his rescue, although the whole incident cost him around seven minutes.

This was almost exactly the time that he ended up losing to Loeb, who also ended up frustrated after it took him 15 minutes to change his two tires due to a broken hydraulic jack.

13 minutes separate the top contenders with two stages to go. Guerlain Chicherit did not emerge unscathed from the rock-strewn terrain either, but he still managed to set the fastest time in the special.

Brian Baragwanath in his CR7 and Benediktas Vanagas in his Hilux escorted him on the stage podium. The man from Savoy is now fifth overall.

• Ricky Brabec, secured his first stage win of the year in the bikes category, the 10th in his career, pushing his lead over Ross Branch to 10 minutes. 

Nacho Cornejo and Adrien van Beveren completed the all-Honda podium in the 10th stage. 

• The quads battle is beginning to stretch as stage winner Manuel Andujar now leads by eight minutes, 51 seconds. Alexandre Giroud and Juraji Varga followed suit in the stage.

• Gert Huzink set the fastest time in the truck division aboard his hybrid Renault. It was his second consecutive stage victory.

Martin Macík tightened his vice grip on the overall after a runner-up result, where he has a two-hour, six-minute margin over his compatriot Aleš Loprais.

• Notching his maiden stage victory in the challenger category, Marcelo Gastaldi gapped Nicolas Cavigliasso by one minute, 26 seconds. Mitch Guthrie continues to lead Cristina Gutiérrez by 28 minutes.

Sara Price took the SSV special to become one of three women to have won a Dakar stage. Jerome de Sadeleer and Rodrigo Varela rounded out the podium.