Loeb Lights Up Stage 2 of the Dakar Rally 2017

The WRC legend takes charge in the cars, as defending champion Toby Price leads the motorcycles.
Sebastien Loeb was the quickest car on Stage 2 of the Dakar Rally 2017 to Tucuman, Argentina on January 3, 2017
Sébastien Loeb was the man on Stage 2 of the Dakar © Marcelo Maragni/Red Bull Content Pool
By Tim Sturtridge

If the competitors thought the opening stage of this year's Dakar Rally was a tough one, they faced a mammoth 500-mile total distance from Resistencia to San Miguel de Tucumán on day two, with a 170-mile timed stage putting them through their paces.

After sending out a warning the previous day with his comment that it "wasn't time to make a move yet," Sébastien Loeb did just that. He put his foot down and finished the second stage 1m23s ahead of the previous day's winner Nasser Al-Attiyah, taking the early overall lead in the process. Carlos Sainz kept tabs on the pair by coming in third quickest.

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing rider Toby Price was the fastest rider on Stage 2 of the 2017 Dakar Rally to Tucuman, Argentina on January 3, 2017
Toby Price made his mark early in the 2017 Dakar © Marcelo Maragni/Red Bull Content Pool

On two wheels defending champion Toby Price overcame a tricky day to lead the way and stake his claim in the opening stages. Matthias Walkner and Paulo Gonçalves completed the top three as the motorcycle category began to take shape.

And in the quads Pablo Copetti gave the home fans in Argentina a boost with the stage win, and was followed closely by Nelson Sanabria, with Axel Dutrie just over five minutes off the lead time.

Matthias Walkner in action on his Red Bull KTM at the Dakar Rally 2017 from Resistencia to San Miguel de Tucuman
Matthias Walkner was on the pace on Stage 2 © Flavien Duhamel/Red Bull Content Pool

Quote of the day

It was really crazy. There were a lot of cows. It was really hard coming through all the dust there this morning. We have more kangaroos back home than cows, but I’d rather pick on a kangaroo a little bit more than a cow, but all in all, I got through it.

Price explains some of the more unusual obstacles competitors have to look out for during the Dakar.

Social post of the day

Tom Coronel letting us have a taste of just what Price was talking about, in terms of tough conditions.

Yes #dakarrally has begun 👊🏻👊🏻 check the onboard view 😂 eating dust, mud and a lot of water 😜 #dakar2017 #paraguay #rallydakar #argentina

A video posted by Tom Coronel DAKAR WTCC❤🚙💨🏁 (@tomcoronelracing) on

Coming up tomorrow

Stage 3: San Miguel de Tucumán to San Salvador de Jujuy
Timed stage: 226 miles
Total distance: 484 miles
Timed stage: 123 miles
Total distance: 470 miles
As temperatures go up so does the altitude out on the course, as the third stage of the Dakar is exclusively offroad. There are numerous river crossings to be navigated, and each one a potential pitfall as depth is always difficult to gauge.

Get the latest Dakar news and videos on our dedicated event page.