Reinaldo Varela grabbed his second stage win over 15 minutes ahead of Juan Carlos Uribe and moved into the overall lead. José Luis Peña was third on the day.
Eduard Nikolayev recovered from a miscalculation at the beginning of the stage that left his truck on its side to claim his second consecutive win. The Russian has been in a league of his own since the start in Lima and beat Siarhei Viazovich by 6'23' in Arequipa. Most importantly, he has now padded his margin over Federico Villagra in the overall to almost an hour.
Today's stage win and the withdrawal of Sébastien Loeb have strengthened Stéphane Peterhansel's grip on the rally. The seven-time winner in the car category is on track to take an eighth win now that he has 31 minutes over Carlos Sainz, 1 h 15 on Bernhard ten Brinke and 1h 23 on Nasser Al-Attiyah.
Rookie Nicolás Cavigliasso put in a brilliant performance to claim his first Dakar win in what was only his fifth stage in the rally. The Argentinian held off overall leader Ignacio Casale by 1′23″.