Peterhansel leads Dakar into Bolivia

Elias Hubbard
January 13, 2018

Hero MotoSports rider CS Santosh was back in action mode traversing through the high altitude region as he completed the stage in 38th position and 56th overall. The first being Adrien Metge whose campaign ended after the event's second stage.

Paraguayan Nelson Sanabria Galeano ended the day third fastest ahead of class leader Ignacio Casale, who now holds a forty-one minute and thirty seconds advantage over Alexis Hernandez heading into the rest day in Bolivia.

Stage 3 took the riders from Pisco to San Juan de Marcona in what was a very hard ride full of dust and sand and navigation issues. This will also mark the rally's first marathon stage of 425 km.

The Sherco TVS campaign at Dakar 2018 is now down to Joan Pedrero Garcia. His expertise not only helped him, but competitors too, who followed him on the hard trail to ensure they don't make any mistakes. Barreda Bort is charging ahead and is placed in the fourth position.

Pedrero sustained his improvement from the previous stage, ending stage four in 17th position as well. David Casteu, the team manager, said, "The whole team is thinking about him and wishes him a speedy recovery". Aravind kept the Indian flag flying with another finish, this time coming in 44th position and getting praise for his attentiveness and fitness.

On the other hand, the 774km stretch forced Aravind KP from TVS to abandon the race after falling off his bike and breaking his ankle. Joan Pedrero continued his run of strong performances, finishing in 18th place.

Aravind KP, who had to retire at the end of stage six due to an injury, is stable and undergoing medical treatment.

The conditions were so harsh in the sixth stage that the first 119 km of the timed sections was cancelled.

While competitors put the rigors of the Peruvian desert behind them with the end of Wednesday's stage, they will now have to contend with the challenge of high altitude in Bolivia. TVS Sherco's star rider Joan Pedrero Garcia is now 15th in the overall classification, trailing leader Kevin Benavides of Argentina by 53 minutes and 26 seconds, having accrued only one penalty of one minute so far.

Benavides finished second on the day to take an overall lead of one minute and 57 seconds. Aravind was also unable to complete the Dakar Rally in 2017 when he debuted with the Sherco TVS team after suffering two crashes. As things stand, the Top 5 crews consist of two Peugeots and three Toyotas, and only 01:35:59 separate the man in fifth (De Villiers) from Peterhansel in the lead. But instead he was left rebooking his flight home after his Peugeot became stuck in the dunes twice, with a truck having to help him out of a sand hole, costing him nearly three hours.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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