Overnight leaders Carlos Sainz and Louis Cruz’s 2016 Dakar came to a premature end when problems with the gearbox on their Peugeot saw them stranded about 100 km into the second part of the timed section on today’s stage between Belen and La Rioja. Although they were towed into the bivouac, the car could not be repaired and they were forced to retire.

Yesterday Erik van Loon and Wouter Rosegaar (MINI) had their best stage of Dakar 2016 finishing second but they were not able to repeat the feat. They rolled, as did Nasser Al-Attiyah and Matthieu Baumel in their MINI, in the early part of the stage. Although both crews were able to continue they lost a lot of time. This left Stéphane Peterhansel and Jean-Paul Cottret largerly unchallenged at the head of the field. They took the stage win from team mates Cyril Despres and David Castera by 5’40” with Yazeed Al Rajhi and Timo Gottschalk the first Toyota home in third.

Nani Roma and Alex Haro brought their MINI home in fourth ahead of Sébastien Loeb and Daniel Elena who moved back into the top ten overall despite suffering two punctures and barrel-rolling their Peugeot on the stage.

Geniel de Villiers, with Dirk von Zitzewitz alongside him in the co-driver’s seat, was the firth South African across the line in sixth place. Leeroy Poulter and Rob Howie (Toyota) finished in tenth with Mark Corbett and Juan Mohr (Century CR5) just behind them. Colin Matthews and Rod Burke brought the other Century CR5 home in 25th while Sean Reitz and Riaan Greyling finished 28th in their Nissan.

In the overall standings Peterhansel and Cottret move back to the head of the field exactly an hour ahead of Al-Attiyah and Baumel. De Villiers and von Zitzewitz have moved up to third a further 12’31” back. Hirvonen and Perin remain in fourth in their MINI with Poulter and Howie up to fifth. Despres and Castera continue their move up the log. They are now in sixth place.

Another good day for Corbett and Mohr sees them move up to 18th overall. Matthews and Burke are also moving up the overall classification. Another three positions today puts them in 37th. Reitz and Greyling are 42nd.

Slovak Štefan Svitko (KTM) took his maiden win at the Dakar in the motorcycle category. The 10th stage did little to change the top of the classification. Leader Toby Price (KTM) finished third today, limiting his losses to just 5′47″.

Svitko, who is participating in the rally for the seventh time, earned bragging rights by claiming one of the toughest stages in the 2016 edition. He managed to put 2′54″ into Kevin Benavides (Honda) and 5′47″ into Toby Price (KTM), today’s rivals, in just over 4 hours of racing.

Benavides stuck to his “companions” and took a huge leap forward, gaining 4′49″ on fourth-placed Antoine Méo (KTM) and 7′01″ on fifth-placed Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna). Meanwhile, Paulo Gonçalves worked to defend his third place overall by taking time on Chile’s Quintanilla.

Price (KTM) now holds a lead of 23′12″ over Svitko. The Aussie will have to focus on defending this comfortable margin in the last few stages if he wants to take the top step of the podium in Rosario.

The quad race went to South African Brian Baragwanath, with the Patronelli brothers. in second and third place. Marcos retained the overall lead with 1′32″ on his brother Alejandro, while fellow Argentinian Jeremías González Ferioli holds the third place, 1 h 34′ back.