UYUNI, Bolivia – Spaniard Joan Barreda (Honda) won the seventh stage of Dakar Rally 2018’s motorbike race on Saturday, but he reached the line in a great deal of pain after injuring his left knee in a fall during the final stretch.
Barreda, who completed the 425-kilometer (264-mile) timed portion of the La Paz-Uyuni stage in five hours, 11 minutes and 10 seconds, sought medical assistance immediately afterward.
Frenchman Adrien Van Beveren (Yamaha) finished second, two minutes and 51 seconds behind Barreda, a result that vaulted him back into first in the general standings past Argentine Kevin Benavides.
Benavides finished third on Saturday, eight minutes and two seconds behind Barreda.
Barreda climbed to third in the general standings, four minutes and 45 seconds behind Van Beveren, but it remains unclear if he will be able to continue the race after the injury he suffered.
The Spaniard also is battling a left wrist injury he sustained in mid-2017.
During the seventh stage, Barreda held up to an 11-minute lead on teammate Benavides at one point, but the fall allowed his fellow competitors to recover some lost time.
The riders battled persistent rain during Saturday’s stage that made driving conditions more treacherous and complicated the competitors’ ability to navigate the Bolivian altiplano.
In other results Saturday, Spanish driver Carlos Sainz (Peugeot) won the seventh stage (La Paz-Uyuni) of the car race and wrested away first place in the general standings from 52-year-old Frenchman Stephane Peterhansel (Peugeot), who was stranded for an hour and 45 minutes due to mechanical problems during the route.
Sainz completed the timed portion of the stage in four hours, 49 minutes and 26 seconds.
He had started the day more than 27 minutes behind Peterhansel, who was leading the seventh stage when the mechanical problems struck and forced the 13-time Dakar Rally winner to wait for assistance from teammate Cyril Despres.
Because La Paz-Uyuni is a marathon stage, competitors are not allowed to receive support from assistance vehicles.
Seven days remain in Dakar Rally 2018, which ends Jan. 20 in Cordoba, Argentina.