Joan Barreda won his second special stage this year and now boasts a lead of more than 13 minutes over Cyril Despres and Marc Coma, the two other beneficiaries of a particularly decisive stage.
Today’s stage, part one of the first marathon stage with no team service, was characterized by the highest ever racing altitude in Dakar history. Facing the 22,841 foot summit of the Aconcagua, South America´s highest mountain, the motorcycle riders had to cross a pass over 14,107 feet in elevation in trial-like conditions.
Joan Barreda became the first Dakar rider to reach the high altitude. This unofficial honor gave him an unbeatable preview of the spectacular landscapes on offer at this height in the Andes Mountain range. Impressive throughout the 151 miles of a special stage slightly shortened in order to avoid unstable terrain on the first part of the route, Barreda again made a big impact, picking up his second stage victory this year after having opened the way for the majority of the day.
Yamaha Factory Racing’s Cyril Despres made up valuable time today. The five-time Dakar winner’s experience and race craft saw him make short work of the day’s timed riding, finishing in second position, 4:41 behind the leader. The result moves him up the overall standings from eighth to second, now just 13:04 behind Barreda. The day’s podium was completed by Spaniard Marc Coma, who is 52 minutes behind Despres.
Behind them came Alain Duclos and Chaleco Lopez, less than 20 minutes behind. The dream is over for Ruben Faria, who has dropped out of the Dakar after a fall, as well as for Frans Verhoeven, who injured his shoulder. Still stuck 18 miles from the finish line almost two hours after the leaders finished, Portugal’s Paulo Gonçalves lost all hope of final victory and the highest step on the podium will be also inaccessible for Sam Sunderland and Juan Pedrero, who have still not yet finished at the time of writing.
Provisional Results Dakar 2014, Stage 3:
1. Joan Barreda (ESP, Honda) 3:47:03 hrs
2. Cyril Despres (FRA, Yamaha) +00:04:41
3. Marc Coma (ESP, KTM) +00:06:56
4. Alain Duclos (FRA, Sherco) +00:10:51
5. David Casteu (FRA, KTM) +00:11:17
6. Francisco Lopez (CHL, KTM) +00:16:36
7. Gerard Farres Guell (ESP, Gas-Gas) +00:16:50
8. Stefan Svitko (SVK, KTM) +00:19:06
9. Jakub Przygonski (POL, KTM) +00:20:12
10. Olivier Pain (FRA, Yamaha) +00:20:34
Provisional Overall Standings after Stage 3:
1. Joan Barreda (ESP, Honda) 09:56:44 hrs
2. Cyril Despres (FRA, Yamaha) +00:13:04
3. Marc Coma (ESP, KTM) +00:13:56
4. Alain Duclos (FRA, Sherco) +00:16:38
5. Francisco Lopez (CHL, KTM) +00:18:39
6. David Casteu (FRA, KTM) +00:22:16
7. Jordi Viladoms (ESP, KTM) +00:34:33
8. Olivier Pain (FRA, Yamaha) +00:36:33
9. Jakub Przygonski (POL, KTM) +00:37:54
10. Stefan Svitko (SVK, KTM) +00:40:09