Joan Barrera set the time sheets blazing on stage 3 of the Dakar, while Indian riders faced a difficult time as they covered a distance of 780km, including a special stage of 416km. CS Santosh got lost and was handed over a penalty of over an hour and managed to finish only at the 104th position. Debutant Aravind KP on the other hand managed to crash only 40km into the special stage and damaged his shoulder and is now out of consideration for the rest of the rally. Fortunately, his injuries have been treated.
In the bike category, Joan Barreda delivered a high-level performance on the tricky route leading to San Salvador de Jujuy and won his first special stage of the year with a huge lead over his rivals, perhaps a decisive step towards his first triumph on the Dakar.
TVS Sherco riders Joan Pedrero and Adrian Metge managed to finish at 16th and 32nd, respectively. Hero Motocorp Speedbrain rider Joaquim Rodrigues managed to finish at a respectable 19th position.
This year, stage 3 has seen even more crashes as compared to last year as the participants tackled extreme weather conditions, trekking the Andes with altitudes reaching higher than 5000 metres. Navigating around the terrain was difficult too, sending several racers along incorrect paths.