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March 2, 2021

Dakar 2011: Coma, Al-Attiyah and Chagin, winners in Stage Three

Jonah Street was the master of the bikes in the early running of the stage three of Dakar 2011 Rally, the American and his Yamaha besting the big names of the Dakar at the day’s first split time before slipping back – but only into the top five – by the time the field reached 72 km. However, the mid point saw Street slip further back, losing over five minutes in just a handful of kilometres before the neutralisation. His misfortune allowed Spaniard Marc Coma to take his first stage win of the year, but the story of the day was Cyril Despres. “Marc Coma caught up with me very quickly,” Despres said, quoted by the motors specialized website thecheckeredflag.co.uk. “There were a lot of riders at the start of the special. I was very careful during the first 10 kilometres and then after 11 km I got it completely wrong. I didn’t lose two hours, but several precious minutes. In the end, I limited the damage, because I finished 20 seconds behind Marc. He must have gain 2 minutes 20 seconds on me. It’s not huge amount of time, but I would’ve liked to have kept it for myself”. Tomas Maffei was the surprise winner of a quad class which was dominated by Argentine riders. Alejandro Patronelli made the early running, swapping the lead with Sebastien Halpern, while Czech pair Martin Plechaty and Josef Machacek could only look on.
After two wins for Carlos Sainz, it was Nasser Al-Attiyah (Qatar) who won the car class, taking second in the standings to give VW a 1-2 on the overall standings.

Sainz, the first car on the road, never recovered from the time lost in the early stages and it was Stephane Peterhansel – the man who Al-Attiyah would end the day replacing in second – who made the early running before being passed, first after 113km, then 179km to the leading VWs. The three finished the stage, their times separated by just 59 seconds.

Running a significantly shorter stage than the other classes, their timed section ending before the neutral part of the other races, the Trucks had an easier day of it, and after a lowly – by his standards – fifth place the day before, it was Vladimir Chagin who claimed his 58th career Dakar stage win, and moved into a clear lead at the top of the overall standings.

Romanian biker Mani Gyenes had a bad day on Stage Three of Dakar Rally, getting big problems with the road-book on the 15th km, ending the race on the 46th place and getting down from 20th to 32nd place in the general table.

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