2021 Dakar Rally – Stage 3 Preview

Stage 3 takes riders on a loop starting and finishing at Wadi Ad-Dawasir. At least the teams don’t have to pack up and move today!

The stage is made up of a 112 km liaison, 403km special stage with three checkpoints and a 115km liaison back to the bivouac.

Fuel is available at the 98 km mark, checkpoint 1 and at the end of the special stage.

Parts of the stage look to be highly technical. Very early in the stage is a small canyon with large rocks and what organisers are referring to as a complex trial section.

Of course there’s sand, and apparently lots of it. Around 90% of today’s riding will be on sand, including around 10% on dunes. Those dunes are expected to be a lot larger than what the riders experienced yesterday.

The end of today’s stage will be very similar to the end of yesterday’s.

Once again there is a warning about high wind making tracks difficult to find and navigation challenging.

The Coca-Cola Nomadas Adventure team of Pablo Guillen (#35 – KTM 450RFR) and Andrew Houlihan (#62 – KTM 450RFR) will start today one minute apart. They leave on the liaison at 5:53 am and 5:54 am, and on special stage at 8:08 am and 8:09 am (local time).

Only 91 riders are showing as still competing.

Some, like French woman Sara Jugla and Spaniard Alexandre Bispo are showing amazing tenacity.

They managed to reach the finishing line for Stage 1 in Bisha late on Sunday evening, about 21 hours after Toby Price, and then fronted up to start Stage 2 only hours later.

They both managed to complete Stage 2 yesterday but they may not make the start line today.

You can follow the live timing here.