Heavy rains in recent days in Saudi Arabia have made a lot of changes in the race. The stage for motorcycles and quadricycles was also shortened today.
The route used today was what cars and trucks used yesterday. They had made deep ruts, as well as hidden holes and bumps that led to two dropouts today.
Thus, at kilometer 101, the competitors decided that it was very dangerous to continue and the director of the race decided to return to Riyadh in a free transition.
DANIEL SANDERS became the first in the bikes today, and SAM SUNDERLAND continues to lead in the general classification, MATTHIAS WALKNER is second in 2:39 minutes.
In cars, problems with navigation and loss of second place in the overall standings by Sebastien Loeb. Loeb lost about 15 minutes searching for the right direction.
So Nasser Al-Attiyah increased his lead to 48 '54' 'ahead of (SAU) YAZEED AL RAJHI / (GBR) MICHAEL ORR (OVERDRIVE TOYOTA). Sebastien Loeb is 50 '25' behind Nasser.
In the case of trucks, the real fight is between two Kamaz crews. The driver Sotnikov and Eduard Nikolaev, who burst a tire today. The difference between the two crews is 10 "29" in favor of Sotnikov.
Tomorrow is a day off in Riyadh.
The stage was shortened to 255 km today due to still wet and impassable routes.
First stage victory for Audi with Carlos Sainz. In addition, Peterhansel has completed the 3rd stage and proves that the electric Audi has a great future.
Sebastien Loeb failed to repeat his good result from yesterday, remaining without a rear-wheel drive, but luckily he remains second in the overall standings. Everyone today was trying to play tactically and did not want the first place, ie to open the track tomorrow, which is the longest in the race.
(QAT) NASSER AL-ATTIYAH / (AND) MATTHIEU BAUMEL are in the lead, and (FRA) SEBASTIEN LOEB / (BEL) FABIAN LURQUIN remain second now at 37 '40' '.
(ZAF) GINIEL DE VILLIERS / (ZAF) DENNIS MURPHY moved up to 4th place, the 18th race for Giniel, who has so far finished all on the podium.
Competitors had a lot of difficulties today in the almost impassable kilometer 175.
In motorcycles, a stage victory for (PRT) JOAQUIM RODRIGUES, as tactically (AUS) TOBY PRICE remained second so as not to open the track tomorrow. Driver (GBR) SAM SUNDERLAND is only 4 seconds ahead of (FRA) ADRIEN VAN BEVEREN.
The truck drivers (RAF) DMITRY SOTNIKOV / (RAF) RUSLAN AKHMADEEV / (RAF) ILGIZ AKHMETZIANOV are leading with no 11 minutes lead. Czech ALES LOPRAIS is 5th on 47 '08' 'after the leaders.
On Wednesday, the stage is from Al Qaisumah - Riyadh with a length of 707 km.
Nasser Al-Atiyah today opened the stage in the desert between Ha'il and Al Qaisumah. This slowed him down a bit, as did the flat tire at the end of the stage, but Nasser continued until the final without changing it.
No problem today were (FRA) SEBASTIEN LOEB / (BEL) FABIAN LURQUIN (BAHRAIN RAID XTREME), who made the first stage victory. So they are only 9:16 behind the drivers (QAT) NASSER AL-ATTIYAH (AND) MATTHIEU BAUMEL (TOYOTA GAZOO RACING).
The third position in the general is for (ARG) LUCIO ALVAREZ (ESP) ARMAND MONLEON (OVERDRIVE TOYOTA), but with a pretty big difference of 40:53 minutes.
The first 4 positions in the trucks are occupied by Kamaz led by OVERDRIVE TOYOTA.
In motorcycles, the first stage victory for (ESP) JOAN BARREDA BORT (MONSTER ENERGY HONDA), which overtook the competition by more than 5 minutes.
At the top of the overall standings is (GBR) SAM SUNDERLAND (GASGAS FACTORY RACING), second is (FRA) ADRIEN VAN BEVEREN MONSTER ENERGY YAMAHA RALLY TEAM at 2:51 minutes.
The four-wheelers are led by (LTU) LAISVYDAS KANCIUS (STORY RACING S.R.O.), second is (USA) PABLO COPETTI (DEL AMO MOTORSPORTS / YAMAHA RALLY TEAM) in 3:32 minutes.
The light prototypes are led by (CHL) FRANCISCO LOPEZ CONTARDO (CHL) JUAN PABLO LATRACH VINAGRE.
The SSV category is led by (USA) AUSTIN JONES (BRA) GUSTAVO GUGELMIN.
The next 3rd stage will not be a marathon due to flooded tracks and will be 255 km long around Al-Qaisumah.