Stage three of the Dakar Rally took the competitors over 542 km from San Juan to Chilecito in Argentina with 284 km of the route a timed special.
Austria’s Matthias Walkner celebrated his first Dakar stage win on his debut appearance.
He crossed the line in Chilecito ahead of KTM teammate and reigning champion Marc Coma and overall race leader Joan Barreda of Spain.
Barreda now holds a five minute and 33 second lead over Portugal’s Paulo Gonçalves in second while Walkner is third overall at just over ten and a half minutes.
In the car category Argentina’s Orlando Terranova handed Mini their third win from the opening three stages whilst celebrating his second triumph so far.
Terranova didn’t put a foot wrong as he clocking a time of two hours 57 minutes 28 seconds for the stage win. He is third in the general rankings.
South Africa’s 2009 winner Giniel de Villiers steered his Toyota to second place ahead of stage two winner and race leader Nasser Al-Attiyah.
Qatari driver Al-Attiyah is five minutes and 18 seconds clear of De Villiers in general classifications ahead of stage four a 594 kilometre trip (315 km timed special) from Chilecito to Copiapo in Chile.
Sadly, later in the day rally organisers announced Polish motorcyclist Michal Hernik had been found dead near the 206 kilometre mark.
Hernik was participating in his first Dakar.
The exact circumstances of his death are, as yet, unknown.
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