Peugeot occupied the top three positions in the overall standings at the start of stage 4 of the 2017 Dakar Rally from San Salvador de Jujuy in Argentina to Tupiza in Bolivia. At the end of the day they occupied three of the top four positions but that does not tell the story of the stage.

Cyril Despres on his way to victory in stage 4 of Rally Dakar 2017

Image by Marcelo Maragni / Red Bull Content Pool

Stage 3 was totally dominated by the Team Peugeot Total drivers but it didn’t take long for their luck to change at the start of stage 4. First it was Carlos Sainz who lost 10 minutes when he lost his way. Teammate Stephane Peterhansel then lost 15 minutes and overall rally leader Sebastien Loeb 25 to completely change the complexion of the stage.

It was left to Cyril Despres to keep the Peugeot flag flying and take his first-ever stage win on four wheels. He finished almost 11 minutes ahead of Mikko Hirvonen (MINI) with Nani Roma, who had spend much of the stage in second, third in his Toyota Hilux.

Sainz, racing flat out to try and make back the time his lost early on the stage, got it wrong shortly before the finish and rolled into a ravine. He did manage to make it to the finish of the stage but his Peugeot 3008 DKR was too badly damaged to continue. With Sainz out Peterhansel and Loeb salvaged an unlikely fourth and fifth places ahead of Geniel de Villiers (Toyota) who just pipped Pole Jakub Przygonski (MINI) to the finish.

Erik van Loon (Toyota), Boris Garafulic (MINI) and Orlando Terranova (MINI) completed the top ten. Conrad Rautenbach and Rob Howie ended the stage in 20th place in their Toyota Hilux.

Despres’ convincing win has moved him up to the top of the overall standings, 4’08” ahead of teammate Peterhansel. Hirvonen is in third ahead of Loeb and Roma.

De Villiers has moved up to seventh while Rautenbach has also edged up a couple of spots. He and Howie are now 18th.


Matthias Walkner won the stage from Jujuy, Argentina to Tupiza, Bolivia

Image by Marcelo Maragni / Red Bull Content Pool

The big news in the bike category was the elimination of 2016 winner Toby Price (KTM). The Australian crashed out of the lead just before today’s finish, breaking his femur and handing the stage win to KTM teammate Matthias Walkner. Honda’s Joan Barreda Bort, who led for much of the day, came home second, two minutes and 2 seconds off the Austrian.

The French pair of Michel Metge (Honda) and Xavier de Soultrait (Yamaha) were third and fourth from Slovak Stefan Svitko (KTM).

Barreda now has a 22 minute lead over Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) with a trio of KTMs, led by Walkner, in hot pursuit. Svitko and Sam Sunderland occupy fourth and fifth places.


All four of the official Honda riders – Joan Barreda, Michael Metge, Ricky Brabec and Paulo Gonçalves – have been penalized one hour for refueling outside the authorized zone during stage 4. Barreda now drops to seventh in the overall ranking, handing the lead to Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna).