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The third stage of the Dakar 2022 rally saw Hero's Joaquim Rodrigues win a rain-shortened stage while Audi's Carlos Sainz took the victory in the cars category.
The third stage of the 2022 Dakar Rally was shortened due to flooding.
The third stage of the 2022 Dakar Rally saw Indian marque Hero's Portuguese rider Joaquim Rodrigues claim his first Dakar stage win. The win in today's stage was also the first one by the Indian marque in the Dakar Rally.
Rodrigues was leading a pack of riders chasing Aussie GasGas rider Daniel Sanders for most of the rain-shortened stage. Sanders got bogged down in the final section of the stage which allowed Rodrigues to catch up and then claim a historic victory with a time of 2 hours 34 minutes and 41 seconds.
In second was two-time Dakar champion Toby Price, who finished 1 minute and 3 seconds behind the Hero rider on his factory KTM. Finishing third was rookie rider Mason Klien on his BAS KTM who rode in with a time that was just 14 seconds behind Price. Sanders ended up 5th behind Husqvarna rider Skyler Howes.
The second Hero rider in the race Andrew Mare put in another strong showing, finishing 18th. Mare was seven and a half minutes behind his teammate with a time of 2 hours 42 minutes and 11 seconds.
TVS had a good outing in the third stage of Dakar 2022 with all three riders finishing in the top 30. Spanish rider Lorenzo Santolino finished 20th while Portugal's Rui Goncalves was three places behind in 23rd. The lone Indian rider in the mix, Harith Noah, finished the stage in 29th place.
Former MotoGP rider Danilo Petrucci returned to action following his retirement in the last stage. Petrucci put on an impressive show in the sand dunes of Saudi Arabia as he set the 22nd quickest time in the rain-shortened stage.
In the overall standings, Sam Sunderland of GasGas racing who finished the stage in 17th clings onto the top spot. However, Sunderland's lead over Yamaha's Adrien Van Beveren is now a minuscule 4 seconds. KTM's Mathias Walkner sits just a minute and a half behind the British leader.
Lorenzo Santolino still holds the 6th spot in the overall ratings and is currently the highest-ranked rider astride a bike by an Indian marque. Hero's Aaron Mare lies 10th overall while stage winner Rodrigues climbed up two spots to 17th overall. TVS Sherco rider Harith Noah also climbed up a spot to 31st overall while Goncalves climbed up 7 places and now sits 42nd overall.
The third stage also marked a historic day for electric vehicles at the Dakar. Carlos Sainz in his Audi RS Q e-tron picked up the first stage win by an electric vehicle in Dakar Rally as he blitzed the 255-kilometre long stage in two hours 26 minutes and 51 seconds.
Sainz finished 38 seconds ahead of Toyota's Henk Lategan while Dakar title record holder Stephane Peterhansel in the second Audi EV helped the German marque claim a double podium. The third and final RS Q e-tron in the mix finished in the fifth spot, showing off the frightening speed of the electric challenger from Audi.
In the overall standings, Qatar's Nasser Al-Attaiyah extended his lead over Sebastian Loeb to 37 minutes and 40 seconds.
Loeb endured a horrendous day in the sands of the Saudi desert as his Dakar nightmares returned to haunt him. First, his Hunter prototype developed issues with its all-wheel-drive which left the Frenchman driving a rear-wheel-drive car over the dunes for most of the stage. Loeb lost more time as he developed two punctures over the rain-shortened stage which saw him lose even more time to his rival from Toyota.
In the third spot, is Overdrive Toyota's Lucio Alvarez who sits just 12 minutes behind Loeb. Despite the heroics today, Audi's challenge seems to be all but over as its closest driver lies nearly two hours behind the leading Toyota of Al-Attiyah.
Thoughts On Dakar 2022: Stage 3
The third stage of the 2022 Dakar rally was historic for three different reasons. First Portugal's Joaquim Rodrigues claimed his first stage win in his 5th Dakar run. Secondly, Hero Motorsport, thanks to Rodrigues, became the first Indian marque to win a Dakar rally stage. Thirdly, Audi claimed the first-ever Dakar stage win by an EV as El Matador Carlos Sainz showed the us a glimpse into the future of Dakar.