After a decent outing on Tuesday, things didn’t go down well for CS Santosh in Wednesday’s 364km endurance stretch. Thanks to a tricky 70km navigation section – from San Miguel De Tucuman to San Salvador De Jujuy – many riders lost their way and time while negotiating it. Joaquim Rodrigues, despite losing around 30 minutes, was able to catch up and finish the competitive section at 19th position (overall standing 20th) in 4 hours 59 minutes 44 seconds. Santosh, on the other hand, after losing an hour in a riverbed section, finished 67th. But the worst was yet to come for the Indian rider as he as he was later awarded a severe penalty of an hour and 20 minutes for missing a waypoint which dropped him to 104th!
On the TVS Sherco side of things, Aravind KP, who had decided to continue in stage 3 despite wrist injury from a nasty fall, had to retire following another crash that happened 30 kilometres into the race. The rider has shown tremendous spirit in the second stage, unfortunately, things didn’t turn out well for him in his debut challenge as he is out of contention. Joan Pedrero, who has made it to the top ten in the first two stages of Dakar, felt the effects of the complex navigation and was pushed several spots down to 16th position holding the clock at 4 hours 57 minutes. On the other hand, Adrien Metge was able to scale crucial spots on the grid and finished 30th in 5 hours 23 minutes and 21 seconds.
The navigation blunder even took its toll on defending champion and stage 2’s leader, Toby Price. With 4 hours 45 minutes and 42 seconds on the clock, Price was only able to manage 9th position (5th overall) for himself. As for the stage 3’s leader, Joan Barreda Bort clinched his first stage victory in Dakar 2017 straddling his Honda, despite being awarded a minute as penalty.
News source : www.zigwheels.com and www.dakar.com