San Salvador de Jujuy, Argentina
Three days in to Dakar 2017 and the first real navigation challenges of the contest have caused major shifts in the leaderboards.
With waypoints proving difficult to locate in the thin air of northern Argentina, the crews and their machines were pushed to breaking point as the world’s toughest endurance race lives up to its reputation.
Moto: Unstoppable Barreda passes Price
Honda's lead rider Joan Barreda was on a charge today, collecting the 15th stage win of his Dakar career as he chased down reigning champion Toby Price (Red Bull KTM) who lost time opening the road. The Spaniard now leads the overall classification, with Price’s KTM teammate Sam Sunderland 10m20s back in second place. Price himself has slipped to fifth overall.
"The first part of the roadbook was definitely tricky and we all got a little bit out of whack there and a little bit lost," said Price at the finish line. "We definitely lost a bit of time but there's still a long way to go — we're only three days in. Give it time."
Car: Peterhansel wins as Al-Attiyah forced out
A near-perfect day for Team Peugeot Total who claimed a monumental 1-2-3 result en route from Tucumán and Jujuy. Reigning car race champion and 12-time Dakar winner Stéphane Peterhansel underlined his class over the 226 miles of timed stage to take the win with teammates Carlos Sainz and Sébastien Loeb joining him on the podium.
But it was tougher going for Toyota Gazoo Racing, with both Nasser Al-Attiyah and Giniel De Villiers suffering significant stoppages on the stage. Both former Dakar winners had been riding high after two stages, but both saw a major dent put in their chances of a win this year on this stage.
After hitting a pothole and breaking the right rear wheel of his car, Al-Attiyah was somehow able to get his car to the finish. However, his team was later forced to take the decision to retire from this year's race.
Social post of the day
Five-time winner turned sporting director at the Dakar, Marc Coma knows the best way to get from A to B at the event having racked up thousands of kilometers on two wheels.
Tune in to Radio Dakar
Ever wondered how the riders and drivers keep themselves going during a long and gruelling Dakar? Along with the many motivational techniques, fitness and nutrition plans they employ, music plays a massive part in their preparations.
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing duo Sam Sunderland and Matthias Walkner let us into their world with a special playlist they've compiled, and which will be helping them get in the zone throughout this year's race. Check it out:
If this Instagram post is anything to go by, Argentina is in the grip of Dakar Rally fever. And if you don't have a 450cc to hand, don't worry, you can always enter on your favorite hog.
Coming up tomorrow
Stage 4: San Salvador de Jujuy to Tupiza (BOL)
Timed stage: 258 miles
Total distance: 323 miles
As we lift off into Bolivia, the altitude reaches a nosebleed-inducing 11,400 feet above sea level. There's also the challenge of dunes to overcome, an intense test of both driving and navigational skills.