Stephane Peterhansel has battled back into the podium places at the 2018 Dakar rally with his 40th career stage victory at the iconic event as overall leader Carlos Sainz saw his healthy lead trimmed, while Monday’s stage nine has been canned due to weather conditions.

The 13-time Dakar rally winner saw his hopes of victory in 2018 take a hit when he crashed into a rock on stage seven and broke the rear-left suspension on his Peugeot which meant he lost around 90 minutes to fix the problem. As a result the French driver lost his lead and dropped to fourth but on the Uyuni – Tupiza stage eight he has battled back with a stage win by 49 seconds from team-mate Cyril Despres.

Peterhansel’s 40th career Dakar stage win has lifted him back on to the provisional podium places with third place in the overall classification ahead of Toyota’s Bernhard ten Brinke and is 1hr 13m42s off of leader Sainz. The Spaniard finished stage eight a conservative fifth place to manage his lead which was trimmed back to 1hr 6m37s by Toyota’s Nasser Al-Attiyah who finished the stage in third place behind Peterhansel and Despres.

In the bike category, Red Bull KTM’s Antoine Meo clinched the stage victory by 1m8s from Monster Energy Honda’s Ricky Brabec to see the top six separated by less than 10 minutes.

Yamaha’s Adrien van Beveren continues to lead but saw his advantage cut to just 22 seconds by Monster Energy Honda’s Kevin Benavides after finishing seventh on the Uyuni – Tupiza stage.

Matthias Walkner has jumped into third place ahead of Honda rider Joan Barreda Bort who continues to battle on with a painful knee injury. Walkner’s Red Bull KTM team-mate also leapfrogged Barreda Bort to take fourth place with stage winner Meo in sixth 9m56s off overall leader van Beveren.

The SS of stage nine, Tupiza – Salta which stretches 242km heading from Bolivia into Argentina, has been cancelled by Dakar organisers over fears with the weather conditions will pose a risk of flooding and thunderstorms overnight and into Monday. It is being reporter by organisers all competitors will head straight to Salta in preparation for Tuesday’s stage 10.