Dakar Rally : News from Leg 3
After a short night on the boat, the competitors will set foot in Africa. They will then really get to grips with the race: the route will call on navigational skills at the start of the special section, before leaving pride of place to driving
talent at the end of the stage, thanks to several delicate sections crossing streams. This terrain could well benefit an experienced driver such as Jean-Louis Schlesser, who triumphed last year in this same African special stage. 649 km, including 252 km against the clock, are on the menu for the third stage.
On completion of the two European special stages, 504 of the 510 crews who started out from Lisbon on Saturday disembarked this morning in Nador in Morocco, the starting point for stage number three today. 6 competitors have dropped out.
Victorious in the special stage yesterday, Portuguese rider Helder Rodrigues was the first to get to grips with the day's special stage, at 09.05 GMT (rally time) as scheduled.
At 09.33 GMT, the first 50 competitors had started the 3rd special stage of the rally. By 10.15 GMT, 200 competitors had started the 3rd special stage of the rally.
At CP1 after 113 km, Spaniard Marc Coma is the virtual leader of the special stage with a lead of 1'18" over Frenchman David Casteu and 2'42" over Spaniard Isidre Esteve Pujol. Portuguese rider Helder Rodrigues, the first to start this morning, has already lost 10'55 on Coma.
Having set off in 25th position at the start of the special stage, Frenchman Cyril Despres came in 2nd position at CP1, 50" behind virtual leader Marc Coma and 28" in front of David Casteu, who is now 3rd.
Triumphant in yesterday's special, Spaniard Carlos Sainz has kicked off proceedings in the car category for today's special stage, at 10.54 GMT as scheduled.
79th rider to start this special stage, American Chris Blais is now virtual leader of the stage at CP1, 39" ahead of Spaniard Marc Coma.