French veteran Stephane Peterhansel won the Dakar Rally for a report-extending 14th time on Friday, and his eighth in the auto group, right after a gruelling two weeks in the Saudi Arabian deserts.

The fifty five-calendar year-outdated X-Raid Mini JCW driver, nicknamed “Mr Dakar” for his unprecedented achievement, to start with won the endurance event on a motorcycle in 1991 and switched to cars right after 5 far more wins on two wheels.

“It’s nevertheless the identical emotion … there are no easy victories on the Dakar,” said Peterhansel right after a triumph that also built him the to start with driver to get the rally on a few continents.

Argentine Kevin Benavides, riding a Honda, grew to become the to start with South American to get the motorcycle title right after the 12th and closing phase that ended in Jeddah.

The once-a-year rally begun in 1978 as a race from Paris to the Senegalese cash, Dakar, but moved from Africa for security good reasons in 2009. It is now held solely in Saudi Arabia right after a stint in South America.

This calendar year was the 43rd staging of the event.

Friday’s complete was clouded by information of the loss of life of French beginner rider Pierre Cherpin who experienced been in an induced coma given that he crashed on the seventh phase.

The fifty two-calendar year-outdated beginner was the to start with fatality of this year’s event. Two motorcycle riders died on the Dakar very last January.

Peterhansel, who experienced led given that the next phase but won only one of the 12, concluded fourteen minutes and fifty one seconds ahead of Qatar’s Nasser Al-Attiyah, a a few times Dakar winner, in a Toyota.

Spaniard Carlos Sainz, the defending champion and Peterhansel’s teammate, won the closing phase and concluded 3rd all round.

“The difference was possibly that Nasser built the to start with miscalculation on the prologue. He won the prologue and I feel it was his to start with miscalculation. He possibly missing the Dakar due to the fact he wished to get the prologue,” said Peterhansel.

By profitable the Jan. two prologue, Al-Attiyah experienced to go to start with on phase one and open the road for those people guiding. He missing 12 minutes.

In the motorcycle course, 2020 champion Ricky Brabec of the United States won the closing phase to complete runner-up to team mate Benavides and complete Honda’s to start with one-two Dakar complete given that 1987.

Britain’s Sam Sunderland, the 2017 winner, concluded 3rd all round for KTM.

“On phase 5 I was concerned, due to the fact I crashed so quickly and hit my head and my ankle and felt a large amount of discomfort. On that working day I said maybe the Dakar is concluded for me. But I ongoing pushing,” said Benavides.

“I nevertheless have some discomfort, but at the moment I am far more delighted than in discomfort.”

Manuel Andujar built it an Argentine double with victory in the quadbike course.

Russian Dmitry Sotnikov took his to start with title in the truck group, won by the Kamaz team for the fifth calendar year in a row.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London Modifying by Robert Birsel, Alison Williams and Toby Davis)