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Dakar Stage 3: Joan Barreda scorches to a first Dakar stage win

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Joan Barreda emerged victorious thanks to a great tactical display in the third stage of the Rally Dakar 2017.

The Monster Honda Energy Team rider stole the show on today‰Ûªs stage. The Spaniard rode the Honda CRF450 RALLY at a blistering pace, with flawless navigation, to romp home with a massive surplus over the pursuing pack. In addition to the day‰Ûªs first prize ‰Û÷Bang Bang‰Ûª now commands at the top of the overall standings.

After two days where navigation was not an issue, the Dakar now ups the difficulty level and begins to show the differences in quality between the competitors. The opening stretches of the third stage played out off-piste with sand and tricky fords. The were even some trial-like tracks which left many of the less-skilled aspirants trailing behind. Later, the landscape began to resemble that of the previous stages as the route approached the neutralization section. The timed special restarted at over 3,500 metres in altitude and continued uphill all the way to Jujuy.
Dakar Stage 3: Joan Barreda scorches to a first Dakar stage win
Joan Barreda on his way to the stage 3 win
"Today has been a great day," the Spaniard enthused. "I‰Ûªm very pleased because today the plan that we had worked out turned out perfectly. It was a tough day, as I had to push really hard all day, stay really focused, not make any mistakes and give 100% in the area of navigation at the beginning. At the waypoint at kilometre 40 I circled around a bit until Ricky showed up and gave me some references to mark the waypoint. It went really well and error-free with a very fast pace."

KTM's Sam Sunderland was second home on the days stage, 12 and a half minutes adrift of Barreda. The Brit now sits in second overall 10 minutes behind the Spaniard.

‰ÛÏWe knew the first 45 km were going to be tricky, but they were really tricky," Sunderland explained. "There was a lot of vegetation, we were crossing through rivers and trying to find the piste again. It was really tough. We lost 10-15 minutes in the first 45 km and that was a bit frustrating, then in the second part of the special it was good, and I managed to push a bit. We knew it was going to be a tough day and there are still many more to come. We just take each day one at a time, and tick them off as we go. I want to arrive at the finish this year. That‰Ûªs very important for me, and we still have a long way to go.‰Û
Dakar Stage 3: Joan Barreda scorches to a first Dakar stage win
Brit Sam Sunderland took second on the stage and remains second overall. Photo: Marcin Kin
Frenchman Pierre-Alexandre Renet brought his Husqvarna home in third, a further 3 minutes adrift of Sunderland and in the process pushed himself up to 8th in the overall standings.

‰ÛÏIt was a really good day but there are still nine more to come." Renet said, "This morning the navigation was very tricky for the first 70 km, but I tried to make it the best I can. Everything went perfectly and I got to all the way points. I know a lot of riders had problems today and I was surprised to find out at the finish line that I was third. That‰Ûªs good for my team and good for my mechanic who works very hard for me. It‰Ûªs also good for my confidence and for my future.‰Û
Dakar Stage 3: Joan Barreda scorches to a first Dakar stage win
Toby Price dropped to 5th overall after a tough day saw the Aussie come home 9th for the stage. Photo: Marcelo Maragni
Of the other Australian quarter Rodney Faggoter was the next best placed coming home 18th. Todd Smith is still staying constant finishing 40th while Matt Hart finished an impressive 43rd.

"It wasn't a bad day for me," Rodney Faggoter siad, "I was a bit sore from my crash yesterday, so decided to keep it steady and not take any risks. I took my time in the trickiest bits and it turned out I was gaining instead of losing time there.

"My goal from today was to bring my Yamaha home in one piece avoiding mistakes at any cost. Overall, it was mission accomplished from today's stage and now we can move on to the next one. I believe the trickiest bit of the race are still to come, so I want to take things easy and focus on my own race. I believe the following few stages until we reach the rest day in La Paz will be crucial for the outcome of this year's Dakar."
Dakar Stage 3: Joan Barreda scorches to a first Dakar stage win
Despite nursing some soreness, Rod Faggoter is still in the top 20
Tomorrow‰Ûªs stage concludes in the new camp at Tupiza, Bolivia‰Ûªs first location in this edition of the Dakar.

2017 Dakar Rally - Stage 3 Dakar Rally Result - Wed, Jan 4th 2017
1 Barreda Joan SPA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda 4:23'41
2 Sunderland Sam GBR Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +12'29
3 Renet Pierre-Alexandre FRA Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +15'30
4 Quintanilla Pablo CHI Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +16'02
5 Goncalves Paulo POR Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +16'20
6 Van Beveren Adrien FRA Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +19'40
7 Caimi Franco ARG Honda South America Rally Team Honda +20'09
8 Farres Gerard SPA Himoinsa Team KTM +20'43
9 Price Toby AUS Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +21'51
10 Brabec Ricky USA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +24'16
11 Walkner Matthias AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +25'40
12 Svitko Stefan SLO Slovnaft Team KTM +26'41
13 Metge Michael FRA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +27'26
14 de Soultrait Xavier FRA Viltais Racing Team HFP Yamaha +33'09
15 Jakes Ivan SLO Jakes Dakar Team KTM +33'39

2017 Dakar Rally - Provisional Standings after Stage 3
1 Barreda Joan SPA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda 7:36'30
2 Sunderland Sam GBR Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +10'20
3 Goncalves Paulo POR Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +13'42
4 Quintanilla Pablo CHI Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +14'56
5 Price Toby Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +16'19
6 Farres Gerard Himoinsa Team KTM +22'00
7 Van Beveren Adrien FRA Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team Yamaha +23'07
8 Renet Pierre-Alexandre FRA Husqvarna Factory Rally Team Husqvarna +23'07
9 Brabec Ricky USA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +23'13
10 Svitko Stefan SLO Slovnaft Team KTM +25'54
11 Walkner Matthias AUT Red Bull KTM Rally Factory Team KTM +27'47
12 Caimi Franco ARG Honda South America Rally Team Honda +28'30
13 de Soultrait Xavier 23 FRA Viltais Racing Team HFP Yamaha +31'18
14 Pedrero Joan SPA Sherco TVS Rally Factory Sherco +35'10
15 Metge Michael FRA Monster Energy Honda Team Honda +38'22

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