Thursday, January 5, 2017

Peterhansel Takes Massive Jump With Stage Three Victory

Stage three of the 2017 Dakar Rally saw massive time gaps after two compacted stages to open this year's race and three of four classes have had a change in the overall standings.

Stéphane Peterhansel won stage three in the car class and led a Peugeot 1-2-3 with Carlos Sainz finishing a minute and 54 seconds behind Peterhansel and Sébastien Loeb in third, three minutes and eight seconds back. Peterhansel jumped to third in the overall standings with his stage victory. Loeb continues to lead overall and has a 42-second lead over Sainz with Peterhansel four minutes and 18 seconds back. Mikko Hirvonen finished fourth on the day and is fourth overall, trailing Loeb in the overall standings by nine minutes and 38 seconds. Toyota had a rough stage three with Nani Roma being the best finisher on the day in eighth and remaining fifth overall, 13 minutes and four seconds back.

Yazeed Al Rajhi finds himself 15 minutes and 17 seconds back in sixth with Cyril Despres eight seconds behind the Mini driver. Orlando Terranova is 21 and a half minutes back in eighth-place. Jakub Przgonski is ninth, over 27 minutes back with Giniel de Villiers rounding out the top ten over 35 minutes back and Romain Dumas just outside the top ten over two and a half minutes behind the South African driver.

Nasser Al-Attiyah had a massive delay on stage three to repair his Toyota and dropped to 25th, over two hours off the lead. Toyota has decided to withdraw Al-Attiyah prior to the start of stage four.

The bike class saw another smashing run and a new class leader. Joan Barreda won stage three by 12 minutes and 29 seconds over Sam Sunderland and the Honda rider now holds the overall lead by 10 minutes and 20 seconds over the British KTM rider. Paulo Gonçalves finds himself 13 minutes and 42 seconds back overall after finishing fifth on the day. Paulo Quintanilla is fourth overall, 14 minutes and 56 seconds back. Toby Price dropped to fifth, 16 minutes and 19 seconds back after finishing ninth on the day.

Sixth overall is a tie between French rider Adrien Van Beveren and Spanish rider Gerard Farres Guell, both 22 minutes behind Barreda. After finishing for third on stage three, Pierre Alexandre Renet is up to eighth in the overall classification, 23 minutes and seven seconds back. American Ricky Brabec has slipped to ninth, six seconds behind Renet after finishing tenth on the day. Stefan Svitko rounds out the top ten, nearly 26 minutes behind Barreda.

Gaston Gonzalez won stage three in the quad class by four minutes and 41 seconds over Ignacio Casale but Casale moved to the overall lead of the class, four minutes and 37 seconds over Gonzalez. Pablo Copetti dropped to third in class, 18 minutes and six seconds back after Copetti finished 14th on the day. Alex Dutrie slipped to fourth in class, 18 minutes and 18 seconds behind Casale with Simon Vitse rounding out the top five, 19 minutes and 38 seconds back.

Eduard Nikolaev won stage three in the truck class and now holds the overall lead by two minutes and 27 seconds over Martin Kolomy. Federico Villagra jumped up to third, four minutes and seven seconds behind the Russian driver with Belorussian Siarhei Viazovich a minute behind the Argentine driver in fourth. Peter Versluis rounds out the top five, just over ten minutes back.

Stage four takes the competitors from San Salvador de Jujuy, Argentina to Tupiza, Bolivia. This will be the first of five stages the race will spend in Bolivia.