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Team HRC still firmly commands at the head of the Desafío Ruta 40 leader board after the third day featuring the rally’s longest special stage. #joanbarreda was the quickest, with local boy #kevinbenavides finishing behind the Spaniard who extends his lead to over two minutes.
The thermometer was reading eight below zero at seven o’clock this morning in San Juan. In such cold, Team HRC set off this morning to tackle 515.15 kilometres of special timed stage. The stage was to take in mountain tracks, broken paths, river fords and some off-piste, where the riders were able to put the #hondacrf450rally through its paces. The second part of the special was also over heterogeneous terrain that covered soft track, sand and even some fesh-fesh.
Team HRC rider #kevinbenavides headed the group out this morning after having finished first yesterday. #joanbarreda started behind him and was already up to the Argentine’s rooster tail by refuelling. The pair rode virtually together until the finish line with the Spaniard taking the day’s top honours. Paulo Gonçalves had an accident involving the navigation instruments and found himself without the roadbook at the start of the special. He had a momentary lapse in orientation and took a hard blow on the leg during a fall. The Portuguese rider, once the roadbook had been sorted out, was able to speed his way through the rest of the special and even pull back some lost time. Frenchman #michaelmetge appears to have got over the knock in the first stage and was looking far more at ease aboard the #hondacrf450rally.
Tomorrow, Wednesday, sets out from San Juan and arrives in La Rioja in the fourth stage with 435.67 kilometres against the clock. By the time the day is through, the odometer will be reading 630.13 total kilometres.
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