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170 bikes are scheduled to take the start of today’s 243km stage. With only a short liason at the end, it will be the hardest day yet of the new Dakar.
CP4 – It looks like Chaleco is making a big comeback today. The tables look to have turned. Barreda is way back in the stage as is Caselli. Matt Fish and Darryl Curtis look to be struggling also. Up front is it the usual suspects, Gonclaves, Despres, Verhoeven. Female rider Laia Sanz is doing well on her GasGas, running about 40th position today. I don’t see Johnny Campbell on the scoring currently, but there are often scoring issues, so no worries as of yet.
CP5 – It appears that Barreda and Caselli are riding together, but some ways back, about 35min behind leaders times.
Finish – Cyril Despres and David Casteu were the first two riders across the finish line at 10:02 am local time. We’re now waiting for Francisco López, who’s been leading the special since the second third of the stage, to get an idea of today’s classification. Looks like Johnny Campbell has mechanical issues at beginning of stage and has stopped for repairs.
Stage win – Confirmation of the stage classification: Francisco “Chaleco” López was the fastest in the 243-kilometre third stage of the 2013 Dakar. With a time of 2 h 37’54”, he beat Paulo Gonçalves by 1’08” and Cyril Despres by 4’08”. Alessandro Botturi (+5’05”) came in fourth, followed by Kuba Przygonski (+5’20”). Matt Fish and Joan Barreda Bort were the major casualties as they lost 29’52” and 33’02”, respectively.
Caselli and Barreda arrive at stage finish, about 20 min behind lead times, made up ground late in stage. Still no sign of Campbell getting to first check point in stage.
CP7 – Johnny Campbell has made it through, he should be at end of special shortly. No sign of our Bultaco, looks like he timed out yesterday, but was going to be able to start stage 3, but I don’t see him on the scoring.