Spanish rider Gerard Farres won the third stage of the Merzouga Rally, with Franco Caimi right on his heels, 37 seconds behind. Xavier de Soultrait, overall leader and winner of the previous stages, came in third, 3:15 behind Farres.
Adrian Metge of the Sherco TVS team finished the stage fourth, with teammate Juan Pedrero Garcia in 11th. CS Santosh finished in 17th place, but had to ride the last 4km in a sandstorm that covered the stage. He also had a malfunction with his roadbook that was rectified after the first loop. His teammate, Joaquim Rodrigues, finished in an uncharacteristic 22nd place. He was beset by a leak in the cooling system, and he got onto the second loop only to run headlong into the sandstorm. Aravind KP of Sherco TVS finished in 29th place, while wildcard entry Abdul Wahid Tanveer finished the stage 25th.
Overall, Pedrero stands 5th, CS Santosh 15th just ahead of Rodrigues, his 16th-placed teammate, Aravind KP in 29th with Wahid Tanveer ahead of him in 28th place.
Day 4 is the first of the marathon stages. The competitors will have to cover 274km that includes speed-limited tarmac stages, and weaving their way through the ‘sandy mountains’ on the route.