Second consecutive win for Al-Attiyah on Dakar Stage 3

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Second consecutive win for Al-Attiyah on Dakar Stage 3

Off Road

Second consecutive win for Al-Attiyah on Dakar Stage 3


Nasser Al-Attiyah claimed a second consecutive stage win for Toyota on a windy Stage 3 of the Dakar Rally, finishing the 250-mile Wadi to Wadi loop course 2m27s ahead of rookie Toyota Gazoo Racing teammate Henk Lategan.

Stephane Peterhansel (X-raid Mini JCW Team), meanwhile, finished third but held on to his overall lead.

“Today it was a really complete stage,” explained the Frenchman. “At the beginning, it was trial-like in the rocks. On the first trial section we got a puncture, so after that I took it a little more safely. After that, there were sometimes canyons, sandy canyons, nice dunes also and a fast plateau – a really good mix.

“The result is not perfect because of the puncture,” Peterhansel continued, “but I’m really happy with the job done by Edouard Boulanger, my co-pilot. In the complicated places, he did a really good job. I’m happy with the car and I’m happy with the co-pilot, so it’s good for the next day.”

Peterhansel’s team leader, Stage 1 winner Carlos Sainz, was among the many to suffer with navigation issues. The Spaniard finished more than a half an hour behind in 21st, and fell to fourth in the general standings.

Tuesday’s stage was across an enormous plateaux, and wind common to the region transformed the dunes dotting the first part of the route into steep steps that caught out a number of competitors, quickly blowing away tire tracks of competitors ahead.

Stage 3 runnerup Lategan, a former Monte Carlo Rally competitor and reigning South African cross-country champion, wasted no time in claiming his first Dakar podium. Co-driving with Brett Cummings, a former Original By Motul-class bike racer whose navigational skills likely contributed to today’s result, the 26-year-old has jumped up to seventh in the general standings.

Elsewhere, Aussie Toby Price scored a second stage win for Red Bull KTM, but American Skyler Howes (BAS Dakar KTM) took over the lead in the general standings.

“Chaleco” Lopez, another Dakar veteran, increased his lead in the Lightweight Vehicle category claiming the 15th stage win of his double-discipline career.

Among the notables to hit trouble on this stage was Bernhard Ten Brinke (Overdrive Toyota): Running fourth at the penultimate time checkpoint, the Dutchman had less than 30 miles to cover when he rolled his Hilux. Forced to wait for the assistance team, the time lost has likely cost him all hope of a top overall finish.