January 16, 2016 / 7:16 PM / 2 years ago

Double six for Dakar winner Peterhansel

ROSARIO, Argentina (Reuters) - French veteran Stephane Peterhansel won the Dakar Rally on Sunday, his sixth victory in the car category after six on a motorcycle.

Peugeot driver Stephane Peterhansel (R) and co-pilot Jean Paul Cottret of France react at the end of the 13th and final stage of the Dakar Rally 2016 in Cordoba province, Argentina, January 16, 2016. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci

The 50-year-old beat Qatar’s 2015 winner Nasser Al-Attiyah by 34 minutes and 58 seconds to secure Peugeot’s first victory in the endurance event -- now held in the dunes and deserts of Argentina and Bolivia -- since Ari Vatanen won in 1990.

“Some of my wins count more than others, but this one’s definitely in the top three,” said Peterhansel.

“It’s too early to think about the future. One thing’s for sure, getting the same number of victories on a bike and in a car was the last big goal in my career. Now that it’s done, I don’t think there are many things left to motivate me.”

The victory will remain provisional, however, pending an appeal by the rival X-raid team who have argued that Peterhansel illegally refueled midway through an earlier stage of the 38th edition of the event.

KTM rider Toby Price, from New South Wales, took the motorcycle category to become the first Australian winner in the Dakar’s history.

“I‘m in shock, I never would’ve thought I could win this race in my second participation,” he said. “Being the first Australian to win the Dakar is just insane.”

Writing by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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