Stephane Peterhansel has clinched his 41st career stage victory in the car category at stage 10 of the 2018 Dakar rally to move up to second place in the overall classification as he continues to hunt down leader Carlos Sainz.

The Peugeot driver enjoyed an untroubled path through the Salta – Belen stage 10 to clinch victory by over eight minutes from Giniel de Villiers and with Sainz in third the French driver has taken a 13-minute chunk out of his team-mate’s overall lead.

Sainz continues to lead, despite his 10-minute time penalty for an incident with a quad bike during an earlier stage, but has seen his lead trimmed down to 50m35s with four stages to go until the finish to set up a tense finale.

Peterhansel moved back above Toyota’s lead driver Nasser Al-Attiyah thanks to his stage 10 win and now holds a useful 22-minute gap over the Qatari driver. Bernhard ten Brinke continues to hold fourth place but just 33 seconds splits him from team-mate de Villiers.

In the bike classification disaster struck for long-time leader Adrien van Beveren as the Yamaha rider crashed out of stage 10 and despite attempting to restart he was forced out and airlifted for a medical check.

That handed the initiative to Red Bull KTM’s Matthias Walkner who stamped his authority on the race with a storming victory on stage 10 to take the overall lead. Walkner won the stage by over 11 minutes from Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s Pablo Quintanilla and now leads the general classification by 39m42s from Monster Energy Honda’s Joan Barreda Bort with his team-mate Kevin Benavides in third two minutes back.