Portuguese Joaquim Rodrigues (Hero Motorsports) gave the surprise this Tuesday and won a third stage of the Dakar after which the British Sam Sunderland (Gas Gas) maintains the leadership of the general in motorcycles, but with only four seconds of advantage over the French Adrien Van Beveren (Yamaha).
A timed section (special) that had to be shortened from 368 kilometers to 255 due to the floods that are wreaking havoc in northern Saudi Arabia, which is why the marathon stage, located between yesterday, Monday and Tuesday, was also canceled.
Joaquim Rodrigues always close to Austrian Daniel Sanders (Gas Gas), but it wasn't until the last checkpoint that he was able to snatch first place from him on the stage by leaving 3 minutes and 46 seconds in just 45 kilometers when everything seemed to indicate that he would take the victory.
Second was Australian Toby Price (KTM) at 1'3 "and third the American Mason Klein (KTM) at 1'14".
A day shorter than planned but one that made the general classification tighten, since the first three classified gave themselves time on the road. The Sunderland leader did not shine and finished 7'3 '”from winning the stage, which made the French Van Beveren cut him back to just 4 seconds.
A situation that, however, was not taken advantage of by neither the Spanish Joan Barreda (Honda), winner on Monday's day, nor the Argentine Kevin Benavides (KTM), current champion. They lost 10'32 ”and 4'28, respectively, so that only the South American driver was able to reduce distances with respect to the leader Sunderland, but he is still 17 minutes and 45 seconds from first place.
It was the three riders who opened the track, and he penalized them for the rest of the short special.
First five classified of the third stage:
Joaquim Rodrigues (POR-Hero Motorsport): 2h34'41 ”
Toby Price (AUS-KTM): at 1'3 ”
Mason Klein (USA-KTM): at 1'14
Skyler Howes (USA-Husqvarna): at 1'26 ”
Daniel Sanders (AUS-Gas Gas): at 2'55 ”.