Sebastien Loeb has clinched victory on stage four of the 2018 Dakar Rally to chip away at Stephane Peterhansel’s lead as Peugeot profits from its rival’s issues to take a 1-2-3 in the standings, while defending bike champion Sam Sunderland retires from the event.

The nine-time World Rally Champion led for the majority of the 330km special stage which looped around San Juan de Marcona to eventually see off Carlos Sainz by 1m35s for the stage victory, while overall leader Peterhansel in third ended the day 3m16s off of Loeb. Peterhansel’s general classification lead stands at 6m55s from Loeb with Sainz another six minutes further back, while Toyota’s best hope Al-Attiyah is now almost an hour behind the leader after a nightmare day.

Toyota endured a hellish fourth stage with two-time Dakar winner Nasser Al-Attiyah and team-mate Giniel de Villiers both stopping on the course for separate issues and lost a huge chunk of time.

Peugeot also suffered its own heartache with former Dakar Rally leader Cyril Despres coming to a halt on the gruelling stage after losing a wheel and conceded chunks of time to fix a replacement wheel to tumble out of the top 20.

In the bike field, defending Dakar champion Sunderland saw his hopes of back-to-back wins ended when he suffered an off and was attended to by the Dakar medical team for back pain. The KTM rider has been transported by medical helicopter to the bivouac after being ruled out of finishing the fourth stage.

Further up the order Adrien van Beveren swept to another stage victory for the factory Yamaha squad by five minutes from team-mate Xavier de Soultrait. van Beveren now leads the overall classification by 1m55s from Husqvarna’s Pablo Quintanilla with Honda’s Kevin Benavides in third 3m15s off of the Yamaha rider.