Monday 8 January 2024, marathon stage!
2024 Dakar stage 3: Marathon day!
The third stage of the 2024 Dakar Rally had our Sherco Team riders racing from Al Duwadimi to Al Salamiya a total of 733 km, including 295 km of liaison and 438 km of special. The terrain was very varied, alternating fast areas, dunes, technical areas with rocks, canyons and rocky dry riverbed crossings.
Rui Gonçalves rode at a strong pace and shared the track with the leading drivers, he finished 13th for the day and is 15th in the general classification. Harith Noah ranks 17th. He is 18th in the general ranking.
Stage 3 Ranking
Rui Gonçalves: P13
Harith Noah: P17
Provisional general classification
Rui Gonçalves: P15
Harith Noah: P18
“Today was another very long day and it was also a marathon stage, so we had to try to maintain a good pace and not take too many risks since we only had 2 hours of assistance between the special and our bivouac. Tomorrow, it starts again with another long special.
It went well, I got into a good rhythm from the start. I rode with a few of the leading riders.
The pace changed a lot today, we alternated between fast areas and technical areas. We had to concentrate on navigation, it was very important. I managed to manage speed and navigation; it went very well. Now it is time to rest. Tomorrow, we leave the bivouac around 5am.”
“I feel physically fit again; I no longer have headaches. Today was tough navigating, especially towards the end. I focused as much as possible on this rather than on speed. It was also very important to finish the day without crashes or problems, as it is a marathon stage with only 2 hours of mechanical help allowed after the stage. Tonight, we will all sleep in tents in the middle of the desert.”
Tomorrow, the riders will set off for the fourth stage of the Dakar, from Al Salamiya to Al-Hofuf, 631 km including 299 km of special and 332 km of liaison which will close the marathon with its 299 km of special. The terrain promises to be smoother, but navigation will once again be tricky.