After two first, relatively straightforward stages, the Dakar got into its stride today with more technical terrain. Cyril Despres (Red Bull KTM) paid the price of opening the piste to finish in second place 2'21 behind Marc Coma, with Goncalves third at 3'36. Overall Cyril maintains his lead by just 14 seconds ahead of Coma with Ruben Faria (Red Bull KTM) third at 9'38.
"Not a great day. There were a lot of people at the start of the special and so I took care and as a consequence struggled to find my rhythm. I went better as the stage continued, but I can't say I am really satisfied with how I rode. Still that's the Dakar -- you can't be at 100% all the time. Tomorrow we go over Andes mountains into Chile and it is always a magic moment. The scenery will be stunning -- like you are on top of the world."