Red Bull KTM factory rider and reigning title-holder Cyril Despres took the lead of the overall standings in the 2013 Dakar Rally. Despres, who finished third in Stage Three, vaulted from fifth overall into the premiere place on Day Three of this marathon event.

Despres now holds a 2 minute 51 second overall lead over Chaleco Lopez (KTM) while evergreen KTM rider Pal-Anders Ullevalseter of Norway in third place, four minutes 59 behind the leader. Lopez made a big charge from back in the field to win Stage Three ahead of Paolo Goncalves of Portugal while Despres was third. Jakub Przygonski of the KTM Factory B Team had a good day out finishing fifth in the stage to improve his overall position to tenth.

Stage Three, which took riders over some of the most spectacular sections of the desert of southern Peru shook up the standing order and saw Stage Two winner and overall leader Joan Barreda Bort slip back to overall eighteenth.  Barreda broke his rear wheel as he landed after a jump just forty kilometres into the special test. Until that moment Barreda on his TE449RR by Speedbrain had been in command of the race, but was forced to slow down considerably to be able to get through the special, losing over thirty minutes in doing so.

Joan Barreda: ‘I was going really well until 40 km in, when I landed after a jump and broke the rear wheel. I was forced to stop to try and sort out the damage, but there was nothing I could do about it. So I had to carry on at a slower pace until the end of the special. A shame! But that’s the Dakar. Tomorrow is another day!’

After three stages, the top Husqvarna rider in the overall standings is the private Spanish rider Jordi Viladoms, a kind of ‘special customer’ of the Husqvarna Rallye Team by Speedbrain, who sits in eighth place in the overall table.
It seems that having two good days in a row is difficult. American Kurt Caselli, who is riding the injured Mark Coma’s Red Bull KTM, was 30th on the day after having a spectacular Day Two, finishing in fifth. He now sits in 19th.

Tomorrow the treacherous stage of Nazca Arequipa awaits with 718 km (449 miles) of which 289 km (180 miles) are special test.



Results Stage Three
Pisco to Nazca – total distance 343 km: 100 km liaison and 243 km special
1, Chaleco Lopez, Chile, KTM 2 hours 37.54
2, Paolo Goncalves, Portugal Husqvarna, 2:39.02
3, Cyril Despres, France, KTM, 2:42.02
4, Alessandro Botturi, Italy, Husqvarna 2:42.59
5, Jakub Przygonski, Poland, KTM 2:43.14
6, Daniel Gouet, Chile, Honda, 2:44.29
7, Gerard Farres Guell, Spain, Honda, 2:44.52
8, Frans Verhoeven, Netherlands, Yamaha 2:45.16
9, Olivier Pain, France, Yamaha 2:45.22
10, Javier Pizzolito, Argentina, Honda 2:45.33
11, Pal-Anders Ullevalseter, Norway, KTM 2:46.24
12, Stefan Svitko, Slovakia, KTM 2:46.52
20, Riaan van Niekerk, South Africa KTM 2:51.36
22, Darryl Curtis, South Africa, KTM 2:52.52
24, Ruben Faria, Portugal, KTM 2:56.03
25, Jacek Czachor, Poland, KTM 2:56.56
26, Henk Knuiman, Netherlands, KTM 2:57.35
30, Kurt Caselli, USA, KTM 3:01.41
36, Ben Grabham, Australia, KTM 3:05.31
39, Joan Pedrero, Spain, KTM 3:07.17

Overall results after Stage Three
1, Despres, KTM 6 hours 15.03
2, Lopez, KTM 6:17.54
3, Ullevalseter, KTM 6:20.02
4, Pain, 6:21.06
5, David Casteu, France, Yamaha 6:21.11
6, Israel Esquerre, Chile, Honda 6:21.22
7, Verhoeven, KTM, 6:23.11
8, Jordi Villadoms, Spain, Husqvarna 6:24.11
9, Svitko, KTM, 6:24.43
10, Przygonski, KTM 6:24.48
11, Faria, KTM 6:25.50
13, Curtis, KTM 6:26.22
19, Caselli, KTM 6:35.67
23, Pedrero, KTM 6:38.04
25, Van Niekerk, KTM 6:38.23
32, Ben Grabham, Australia, KTM 6:43.48


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