A first victory ahead of the ‘champions’, Niccolo Pietribiasi could hardly believe his eyes as he looked at the results list. And overcome with emotion, tears rolled down his cheeks as he stood in front of his adversaries! Winner of the first special (113 km), Niccolo freely admitted, “it was all down to navigation. I heard at the briefing that we had to head towards the sea. Lost like many of the other competitors in all the tank tracks in the military zone he climbed up onto a rock and saw the sea. “I quickly jumped back on my KTM and went in that direction.” A fruitful decision for the Italian KTM Motorstore rider, who finished 6th on the second special. This evening he is 14th overall, more than 37 minutes behind the leader Marc Coma, who takes his third special of the six so far raced. The Spaniard increases his lead over Andrea Mancini, winner of yesterday’s two specials that saw him overtake Cyril Despres, now third at the end of the third stage. The winner of last year’s edition wasn’t making any excuses. “I didn’t make any big mistakes but I wasn’t brilliant either!”
During this stage between sea and mountains, Jordi Viladoms felt the pain of Saturday’s crash. “I swallowed a couple of aspirin and felt much better. On the first special I rode in good company with three other riders, which given the difficult of the navigation was reassuring. On the following special I changed riding partners several times and ended up riding with my team mate Mancini” The Italian moves up overall knocking Despres out of second place “It is a place I would like to hang on to, but there are two days of racing and three specials left to go,” cautioned Mancini, who admitted to a small crash on the day’s longest special.
Another Italian, Matteo Graziani, is also going well, and holds on to the fifth place overall. The 41 year old admitted to a number of navigation errors during the day. He wasn’t alone. Helder Rodrigues, Paolo Ceci Alessandro Zanotti and Jakub Pyzygonszki also owned up to their lot of wrong turnings during the day. Ruben Faria also made a mistake, with potentially disastrous results. David Casteu: “in the second special I found myself face to face with Ruben. He dived off one way and my bike fell off the piste. I struggled to get it back up and lost my rhythm.
Tomorrow, the 4th stage between Muravera and Gavoi Fonni, with just one special of 195 km, with refuelling at kilometre 124. In total they will cover 330 kilometers through exceptional scenery. Only their assistance however will have much time to admire the vista.
Results of Day 3
Final Results after Day 3
Fuente: MFE | Press Newsletter | SSR
Fotos: MFE | Press Newsletter | SSR