3rd Stage: Pisco - Nazca
Link section: 4 km - Special: 243 km – Link section: 96 km - Total: 343 km
The Pisco-Nazca stage was truly magical, with great sand dunes stretching out against a backdrop of black mountains and a breathtakingly beautiful ride down to the Pacific! Once in Nazca, the riders were met by heat and wind.
And the Dakar is off to a remarkable start! Yesterday, Chaleco Lopez was 29th, and today he won the stage at a cracking pace, leaving several of his rivals in the dust! The Chilean is now second overall behind Cyril Després who has turned every situation to his advantage. Happy to be able to keep pace with Cyril, Chaleco (KTM) won today ahead of Gonçalvez (Husqvarna), Després (KTM), Botturi (Husqvarna) and Przygonski (KTM).
Overall, Després is out front ahead of Lopez, Ullevalseter, Pain and Casteu...
Joan Barreda, who set off keen as mustard, briefly hit 193 km/h before breaking his back wheel, but somehow got to the finish by dint of dogged determination. Franz Verhoeven went flying but the unluckiest of all was Helder Rodrigues who has been having problems with his fuel supply as the front tank is not feeding the engine.... Frétigné had the same problem and was helped out by Metge before he realised that he had fuel in the right-hand tank.
In the quad class, Marcos Patronelli is taking it steady and clocked up a lead of 21'18' over his main rival, Sebastian Husseini. In third position, we find the Chilean rider Ignacio Casale, 29'38' behind the man from Argentina, and Rafal Sonik, 33'36' behind the leader, is in fourth. Tomas Maffei, who was fourth yesterday, had some problems and came in 20th, dropping to 16th overall.
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