Dakar so far: Shaking things up

Joan Barreda is leading the Dakar rally, at least for now. Photo: Facebook

The third stage of the 2013 Dakar rally is underway at the moment, but here’s a summary of the story so far.

The race kicked off Saturday, with real racing getting underway on Sunday. By the time the dust settled, it was obvious things are different this year. For years, KTM riders have dominated the standings – if Marc Coma had a poor day, then Cyril Despres would come through, or vice versa.

But with Coma out, Husqvarna rider Joan Barreda has emerged as a contender instead; at the end of Stage Two, Barreda had an eight-minute lead on Despres (who was in 12th). KTM rider Juan Pedrero (from Spain) was in second place, and Australian Matt Fish was in third on his Husky.

Canadian riders Don Hatton (162nd place) and Patrick Beaule (59th) were still in the mix at the start of Stage Three this morning. Hopefully they can make it through the day’s riding – it’s supposed to be a pretty challenging route.

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