Dakar SS3: J.Rodrigues and C.S.Santosh survive a tough day

Joaquim Rodrigues © DR

It was a day of utter mayhem in the general classifications. The navigational challenges in the first 70 km of the special stage from San Miguel De Tucuman to San Salvador De Jujuy caused many riders to lose their way. On a day when things could have gone a lot worse, Hero Motosports Team Rally riders came out with mixed fortunes to keep the team’s Dakar campaign very much on track.


Even overnight leader in the general classification Toby Price was among the many casualties of the navigation nightmare. Joaquim Rodrigues, too lost his way that cost him about 35 minutes. But once he was out of the maze of tracks in the riverbed, the rising Portuguese star on the rally-raid scene unlocked some serious speed as the altitudes climbed and the weather deteriorated that included braving a minor hail storm to complete the stage with a time of 8 hour 21 minutes 19 seconds. It helped him to finish the day in 19th place that put him in 20th position in the overall provisional general classifications.
“I got lost at kilometre 30. The first part of the stage was all navigation and with the dust, I got lost and couldn’t find my way out. There was a waypoint in there and it was really hard to find it with all that dust around. A lot of guys passed me, but I managed to get to the end of the stage in good time. So, I am pretty happy. Also, the altitude was new for me. I felt a little dizzy too but I am glad that I was able to hold my concentration at that altitude. It was a pretty good result for me today,