Dakar Stage 3: Al-Attiyah wins 2nd straight stage, closes on overall leader

Stage 3 of the 43rd Dakar Rally ongoing in Saudi Arabia has come to an end.  After wins on the prologue and stage two, Nasser Al-Attiyah has also tasted victory on the third special, beating another Toyota driven by rookie Henk Lategan by 2’27. Stéphane Peterhansel has finished a little more than 4’ behind the Qatari.

Stéphane Peterhansel and his co-pilot Édouard Boulanger managed to avoid the navigational pitfalls to gain time in the general standings on their team-mates Carlos Sainz and Lucas Cruz. “Mister Dakar” now boasts a lead of 5’09 over Nasser Al-Attiyah and more than 26’ over Mathieu Serradori. Occupying fourth place, Sainz now trails the Frenchman by 33’.

Bikes: Price wins Stage 3

He began the special in 29th position, but Toby Price soon soared into the wake of Kevin Benavides. Although the Argentinean held off Price for the first 262 kilometers, in the end he has had to make do with a nonetheless impressive second place, a little more than a minute behind the Australian, who has picked up his 13th stage victory in Ad-Dawasir.

Toby Price

With the fourth best time on the day’s special, Skyler Howes takes over from Joan Barreda at the top of the general standings. The former rival of titleholder Ricky Brabec in the USA now possesses a lead of 33’’ over Argentinean Kevin Benavides and 1’28 over Frenchman Xavier De Soultrait.

After a fine stage yesterday, with a one-two for Barreda and Brabec who claimed the top of the overall rally standings, today was the turn of Kevin Benavides. The Argentinean Monster Energy Honda Team rider finished the Dakar 2021 third stage in runner-up spot, just short of the leadership.

The Wadi Ad-Dawasir loop, over 630 total kilometers, including 403 km against the clock, once again turned the Dakar standings on their head. It has become normal to see the first riders to tackle the special drop time to their rivals due to the complicated task of navigating in a very demanding Dakar. Riders, starting further back, are able to re-trace the tracks and hunt down the front-runners, as they are able to focus on riding rather than the tough navigating. The third stage today served up dunes and desert navigation throughout, featuring some trial like areas on certain stretches of the route.

Joan Barreda and Ricky Brabec – first and second yesterday – had a rough day, opening the track with arduous navigation before reaching the dunes, which proved difficult with the strong winds blowing in from Wadi Ad-Dawasir. The pair tried to manage the distance from their pursuers, but it was a grueling mission for the Monster Energy Honda Team duo who left behind easy-to-follow tracks. In the end, the Spaniard took thirtieth place with the American posting twenty-fifth. The result leaves the pair lying in fairly reasonable overall positions: Barreda is eighth and Brabec thirteenth, 11’15” behind the leader.

Second place at the end of the first looping stage went to Kevin Benavides. The rider, hailing from Salta, Argentina got off to a strong start this morning, hoping to clinch a partial victory, but eventually having to settle for the second best time of the day. The result places the rider second, just 33 seconds behind the rider who leads the provisional.

It turned out to be a good day for Chilean José Ignacio Cornejo, who showed no signs of hesitation whilst momentarily opening the track for several kilometers after catching up with the leading group. The Iquiqueño rider imposed a steady pace throughout to claim tenth final place, both in this third stage and in the general standings.

Tomorrow, stage four, will see the Dakar return to the Saudi Arabian capital, but unlike last year, it won’t be for the rest day, although competitors will definitely need it after completing over 800 kilometers of stage. The longest day of the event takes place between Wadi Ad-Dawasir and Riyadh with a 476-kilometre link section compared to just 337km against the clock.

Quads: Success for Cavigliasso

Nicolás Cavigliasso has reacquainted himself with victory through proving to be the quickest rider on the special around Wadi Ad-Dawasir. The Argentinean, who won in 2019 and boasts no less than nine special stage victories, was able to maintain a sufficient gap of one minute over his closest pursuer Giovanni Enrico. Yesterday’s winner Pablo Copetti had a tougher time in the last few kilometres and finished the special in fifth place, behind Alexandre Giroud and Manuel Andújar.

Trucks: Viazovich wins in Wadi Ad-Dawasir

Siarhei Viazovich has won the day’s special. Behind the wheel of his Maz truck decked out in the colors of the MAZ-SPORTauto team which celebrated its 10th birthday last month, the Belorussian finished just 18’’ ahead of Dmitry Sotnikov, who won the first two stages. Anton Shibalov completed the special in third position, 1’16 behind. Titleholder Andrey Karginov was in the leading pack on the final section of the special, but lost several minutes and finished in fifth place, 3 minutes behind the day’s winner.

Overall Standings after Stage 3


1 302 (Fra) Stéphane Peterhansel
(Fra) Edouard Boulanger
X-Raid Mini Jcw Team 10H 39′ 02”
2 301 (Qat) Nasser Al-Attiyah
(Fra) Matthieu Baumel
Toyota Gazoo Racing 10H 44′ 11” + 00H 05′ 09”
3 308 (Fra) Mathieu Serradori
(Bel) Fabian Lurquin
Srt Racing 11H 05′ 23” + 00H 26′ 21”
4 300 (Esp) Carlos Sainz
(Esp) Lucas Cru
X-Raid Mini Jcw Team 11H 12′ 36” + 00H 33′ 34”
5 307 (Pol) Jakub Przygonski
(Deu) Timo Gottschalk
Orlen Team
11H 23′ 24” + 00H 44′ 22”
6 305 (Fra) Sebastien Loeb
(Mco) Daniel Elena
Bahrain Raid Xtreme 11H 24′ 51” + 00H 45′ 49”
7 332 (Zaf) Henk Lategan
(Zaf) Brett Cummings
Toyota Gazoo Racing 11H 26′ 27” + 00H 47′ 25”
8 316 (Sau) Yasir Seaidan
(Rus) Alexey Kuzmich
Srt Racing 11H 30′ 52” + 00H 51′ 50”
9 310 (Are) Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi
(Fra) Xavier Panseri
Abu Dhabi Racing 11H 31′ 10” + 00H 52′ 08”
10 312 (Cze) Martin Prokop
(Cze) Viktor Chytka
Benzina Orlen Team 11H 35′ 32” + 00H 56′ 30”


1 9 (Usa) Skyler Howes Bas Dakar Ktm Racing Team 12H 04′ 48”
2 47 (Arg) Kevin Benavides Monster Energy Honda Team 2021 12H 05′ 21” + 00H 00′ 33”
3 12 (Fra) Xavier De Soultrait Ht Rally Raid Husqvarna Racing 12H 06′ 16” + 00H 01′ 28”
4 3 (Aus) Toby Price Red Bull Ktm Factory Team 12H 06′ 40” + 00H 01′ 52”
5 5 (Gbr) Sam Sunderland Red Bull Ktm Factory Team 12H 10′ 15” + 00H 05′ 27”
6 18 (Bwa) Ross Branch Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team 12H 12′ 02” + 00H 07′ 14”
7 77 (Arg) Luciano Benavides Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing 12H 12′ 44” + 00H 07′ 56”
8 88 (Esp) Joan Barreda Monster Energy Honda Team 2021 12H 13′ 50” + 00H 09′ 02”
9 42 (Fra) Adrien Van Beveren Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team 12H 13′ 57” + 00H 09′ 09”
10 4 (Chl) Jose Ignacio Cornejo Florimo Monster Energy Honda Team 2021 12H 14′ 12” + 00H 09′ 24”


1 159 (Chl) Giovanni Enrico Enrico Racing Team 14H 36′ 46”
2 152 (Fra) Alexandre Giroud Team Giroud 14H 40′ 52” + 00H 04′ 06”
3 150 (Arg) Nicolas Cavigliasso Drag’on Rally Team 14H 43′ 27” + 00H 06′ 41”
4 163 (Usa) Pablo Copetti Mx Devesa By Berta 14H 44′ 36” + 00H 07′ 50”
5 154 (Arg) Manuel Andujar 7240 Team 15H 06′ 42” + 00H 29′ 56”
6 168 (Chl) Italo Pedemonte Enrico Racing Team 15H 12′ 59” + 00H 36′ 13”
7 153 (Cze) Tomáš Kubiena Story Racing S.R.O. 15H 34′ 46” + 00H 58′ 00”
8 155 (Pol) Kamil Wisniewski Orlen Team 16H 32′ 01” + 01H 55′ 15”
9 157 (Fra) Romain Dutu Smx Racing 16H 37′ 01” + 02H 00′ 15”
10 174 (Esp) Toni Vingut Visit Sant Antoni – Ibiza 17H 12′ 14” + 02H 35′ 28”


1 507 (Rus) Dmitry Sotnikov
(Rus) Ruslan Akhmadeev
(Rus) Ilgiz Akhmetzianov
Kamaz – Master 11H 47′ 11”
2 502 (Blr) Siarhei Viazovich
(Blr) Pavel Haranin
(Blr) Anton Zaparoshchanka
Maz-Sportauto 12H 04′ 07” + 00H 16′ 56”
3 501 (Rus) Anton Shibalov
(Rus) Dmitrii Nikitin
(Rus) Ivan Tatarinov
Kamaz – Master 12H 10′ 12” + 00H 23′ 01”
4 503 (Cze) Martin Macik
(Cze) Frantisek Tomasek
(Cze) David Svanda
Big Shock Racing 12H 13′ 11” + 00H 26′ 00”
5 504 (Cze) Ales Loprais
(Cze) Petr Pokora
(Are) Khalid Alkendi
Instaforex Loprais Praga 12H 23′ 45” + 00H 36′ 34”
6 509 (Rus) Airat Mardeev
(Rus) Dmitriy Svistunov
(Rus) Akhmet Galiautdinov
Kamaz – Master 12H 29′ 17” + 00H 42′ 06”
7 517 (Chl) Ignacio Casale
(Chl) Alvaro Leon
(Cze) David Hoffmann
Tatra Buggyra Racing 12H 37′ 31” + 00H 50′ 20”
8 506 (Nld) Martin Van Den Brink
(Nld) Wouter De Graaff
(Cze) Daniel Kozlovsky
Mammoet Rallysport 12H 50′ 47” + 01H 03′ 36”
9 514 (Cze) Martin Soltys
(Cze) David Schovanek
(Cze) Tom Ikola
Tatra Buggyra Racing 13H 06′ 03” + 01H 18′ 52”
10 505 (Blr) Aliaksei Vishneuski
(Blr) Maksim Novikau
(Blr) Siarhei Sachuk
Maz-Sportauto 13H 17′ 15” + 01H 30′ 04”