Sports Desk Jan 5 (efe-epa).- Qatar’s Nasser Al-Attiyah (Toyota Gazoo Racing) and Australia’s Toby Price (Red Bull KTM) in cars and motorbikes, respectively, won the third stage of the Dakar Rally, but even with two victories under their wheels they failed to lead the general standings, on a bad day for Spain’s Carlos Sainz, who lost 31 minutes.
Sainz (X-Raid Mini JCW) made a mistake on his route and, at the halfway point, he already gave up a half hour against Nasser Al-Attiyah.
The Madrid-born driver was in second position at kilometer 88, so his performance looked promising. However, at kilometer 156 of the special, he took the wrong road.
That set him down to fourth position in the general standings and placed him 33 minutes and 34 seconds behind Peterhansel.
Frenchman Mathieu Serradori (Century) is third, after his compatriot and Al-Attiyah.
Nasser Al-Attiyah, winner of the prologue and the second stage, put in another superb performance in Tuesday’s special and is already second in the general car classification, 5:09 from Frenchman Stéphane Peterhansel (X-Raid Mini JCW).
The dunes are becoming favorable terrain for Al-Attiyah, who seems to have fully recovered from the disappointment of the first stage. His partial victories, in the second and third stages – in addition to the prologue – again place him as a favorite for the final victory in Saudi Arabia.
And with his exhibition in the third stage, with 403 kilometers of special around the city of Wadi Ad-Dawasir, the Qatari is stalking Peterhansel.
Only 5 minutes and 9 seconds separate them from the general classification, still headed by the French driver, thanks to his good work in this Tuesday’s stage. Peterhansel, who has won the toughest rally in the world 13 times, was third.
He was overtaken by Nasser Al-Attiyah and by South African Henk Lategan, who was the protagonist of the Toyota Gazoo Racing double.