LA RIOJA - Dakar Rally legend Stephane Peterhansel took a potentially decisive step towards a 12th title on Thursday's drama-filled 10th stage, which proved costly for Carlos Sainz. Spaniard Sainz started the demanding drive from Belen to La Rioja leading his Peugeot teammate Peterhansel by nine minutes. But his hopes of victory were dashed when his Peugeot came to a grinding halt around 30 kilometres from the finish. With three days of motorsport's toughest test remaining the French veteran now has a handsome one hour cushion over his closest pursuer, last year's Qatari winner Nasser Al-Attiyah in a Mini. In third comes South African Giniel De Villiers behind the wheel of a Toyota at 1hr 12min 31sec. Despite getting lost and suffering a puncture, Peterhansel was the day's big winner.