Dakar Rally leader Loeb 'got screwed' by bike tracks in third stage
Dakar Rally leader Sebastien Loeb has admitted that he "got screwed" on Wednesday's stage by following bike tracks that went the wrong way
The third stage of the event was the first proper navigational challenge for the crews, and Loeb lost three minutes to Peugeot team-mate Stephane Peterhansel in an eventful day that also included a puncture for the World Rally Championship legend.
Loeb described finding the navigational waypoints on the route as "difficult".
"The first 100 kilometres were complicated in terms of navigation," he said.
"We got lost because we followed the bikes' lines, which were wrong, so we found ourselves in trouble.
"We needed to follow lines off-road, but not all bikes' lines followed the same direction.
"We couldn't venture elsewhere and [the lines we followed] were wrong, so we got screwed.
"We struggled a little bit - I know that we lost four minutes to Peterhansel in the first sector.
"It's not so bad - it was a tough day, but we could have lost a lot more."
Peugeot appears to have the battle for overall victory to itself following the retirement of lead Toyota driver Nasser Al-Attiyah and problems for his team-mate Giniel de Villiers, but Loeb expects a fierce fight with Peterhansel and Carlos Sainz Sr.
"Every time Peterhansel is off-road he's very fast," said Loeb.
"Carlos is always pushing, so it will be a tough battle.
"I don't know what to expect, because so many things can happen.
"Nasser in particular was quite quick - he caught up with us despite getting screwed too.
"I tried to keep up with him on winding tracks with lots of gravel and that's when it got obvious that our two-wheel drive didn't help.
"On quick, slippery sections, he was a bit faster and I lost time letting him through.
"It was tough, there were difficult sections, so I'm not surprised there were mistakes in that stage."
Loeb heads into Thursday's stage with a 42-second lead over Sainz, with Peterhansel four minutes back - having lost a lot of time on Tuesday when he was held up in the dust of other cars.
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