The Trucks Completed a Much Shorter Version of Stage 3
So far, the 2016 Dakar has been heavy on problems and light on kilometers traveled.
Once again, heavy rains, flooded roads and landslides forced the organizers to shorten today's course for Trucks, so there was little action for the largest vehicles in the Rally, but they did get to race.
In spite of the rain that was forecast for this Tuesday's Dakar special, the organizers of the event thought they might finally have a hassle-free day. However, it soon became clear that they would have to cut out the first part of today's stage, shortening the route from 314 kilometers to just 200.
Bikes, Quads and some Cars were able to complete the stage without any major problems. But the roads they took got very torn up, and then there was a landslide just before CP3, so the path was blocked and the special had to be canceled. Some vehicles were trapped in the race area and ASO initially announced that the Special would be canceled for Trucks.
However, in the end, the organization accepted the times recorded at CP2 as valid, putting Iveco on the podium once again, thanks to Federico Villagra and his Powerstar #514. The Argentine pilot came in 54 seconds behind Martin Kolomy, the winner of today's stage. And Hans Stacey, the leader of the general, came in second place.
Ton van Genugten was the second best on Iveco's team today, coming in 6th place. The leader of the Petronas Team de Rooy, the Dutchman Gerard de Rooy, was a bit slower today, finishing in 8th place, 4 minutes and 28 seconds behind the leader. This caused him to drop from 3rd to 4th place in the general. Aleš Loprais made it into the Top 10 again in this stage and finished the day in 10th place.
Pep Vila was initially classified in 14th place, crossing the finish line 9 minutes and 57 seconds behind the leader. However, he was later moved down to 36th place in the official classification, 32 minutes and 8 seconds behind the leader, and appears in 22nd place in the general, without any explanation for the moment.
Iveco's official fleet is moving along without any problems and will rest tonight in the province of Jujuy, in northern Argentina. Tomorrow, there will be a 419-kilometer loop starting and finishing in the city of Jujuy. At some points, the route passes through places that are 4,000 meters above sea level.
So far, the Truck category is the one that has faced the most adversity in the 2016 Dakar. The Prologue and Stage 1 were canceled and competitors were only able to participate in shortened versions of Stages 2 and 3.
In the Car category, Sebastien Loeb secured another victory and is still the leader in the general. In the Bike category, the Argentine Kevin Benavides surprised everyone by winning today's stage after Joan Barreda Bort, who was first across the finish line, was given a 1 minute penalty. And Ignacio Casale is leading the Quad category after coming in 2nd place in Stage 3, just a few seconds after the South African Brian Baragwanath.