TUPIZA, Bolivia – Bad weather in
Sunderland benefited as the stage was curtailed to just 219km rather than the scheduled 692km linking Tupiza with the old mining city of
An hour into the car's stage, Frenchman Sebastien Loeb of Peugeot was leading stablemate Stephane Peterhansel.
Organisers said they had no choice but to curtail the day's action after racing on the tough terrain "became impractical owing to the poor weather conditions on the road to
Earlier, Spanish Honda rider Joan Barreda had lost the lead in the motorcycle category after picking up an hour penalty for refuelling in an unauthorised area, allowing Chilean Pablo Quintanilla of Husqvarna to take the lead.
Barreda, who dominated the third stage from
Three other Honda riders –
The penalties are a blow for the Japanese team's bid to take the title from Austrian rivals KTM, unbeaten in the
KTM had already lost defending champion Toby Price of Australia, who was forced to retire on Thursday after breaking his left leg in a fall.
Former champion Carlos Sainz of
Sainz, the 2010 winner, is the second top auto competitor to quit the race after former two-time winner Nasser Al Attiyah in a
The Spaniard lost control of his vehicle, which rolled over just five kilometres from the finish of Thursday's gruelling fourth stage.
"I'm obviously very disappointed by this withdrawal," said Sainz, also a two-time world rally champion in 1990 and 1992. "I regret not being able to challenge."
Sainz had been provisionally third in the standings when misfortune hit more than seven minutes behind French race leader and Peugeot teammate Cyril Despres.