ARAVIND CRASHED 40 KILOMETRES INTO STAGE THREE HURTING HIS SHOULDER BADLY AND ENDING HOPES OF FINISHING HIS FIRST DAKAR
As we move foward into Dakar, the stages keep on getting tougher and trickier. Stage three started from San Miguel De Tucuman to San Salvador de Jujuy. Today’s stage is 512km long split into two parts with a 240km section, a 148km neutralised zone followed by a 124km final section. The stage rises in elevation and will take competitors through canyons. The stage will be quite difficult to navigate due to the canyons and has off-road sections interspersed in between.
Stage two leader Toby Price (KTM) had a trouble navigating these sections and lost more than 19 minutes to Joan Barreda Bort (HRC) who despite starting ninth took stage win. Barreda was on fire today and by CP1, he had made a lead of 20 minutes over Toby in just 75 kilometres. Toby meanwhile slipped to fifth place.
Fellow teammate Mathias Walkner (KTM) started in 13th place despite coming second yesterday due to receiving a 5-minute penalty for losing his time card. He managed to finish the stage in third place.
All wasn't lost for KTM though as third factory rider Sam Sunderland came in second despite the 13min 30sec gap between him and Barreda. Husqvarna rider, Pierre Alexandre Renet was the trump card, coming in third, by far his best Dakar performance. Paulo Goncalves (HRC) managed to clinch fourth position, trailing 4min 10 seconds behind Sunderland.
Joan Pedrero Garcia (Sherco TVS) moved up two places to finish stage 3 in eleventh place. Teammate Aravind KP (Sherco TVS) had a spill 40km into Stage three and ended up badly injuring his shoulder and put a premature end to his Dakar outing. Aravind had crashed in stage two and despite fracturing his hand, continued to bravely soldier on. We are awaiting on an update on his condition.
Teammate CS Santosh (Hero Speedbrain) struggled with navigation and went the wrong direction in the first 70 kilometres of the stage. By the time he was back on track, he lost over an hour. He is yet to complete the rally along with teammate Joaquim Rodrigues.