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Dakar Rally: Al-Attiyah (Cars), Sunderland (Bikes) roar back to win Stage 3

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Editor’s note: Check out Stage 2 highlights tonight on NBCSN at 11 p.m. ET, and Stage 3 highlights Tuesday on NBCSN at 5 p.m. ET.

As Stage 3 of the Dakar Rally rolled to a conclusion Monday, Qatar’s Nasser Al-Attiyah rallied back to win his second stage in the first three.

The two-time Dakar champion dominated Stage 3 of the 14-stage event in the Car class, rolling through the Peruvian sand dunes as if it was a day at the beach for him.

The stage began in Pisco, Peru and ended in San Juan De Marcona, Peru. Al-Attiyah won the opening stage on Saturday, but fell back in the second stage on Sunday due to a pair of flat tires.

Even though he suffered another flat tire early in Monday’s Stage 3, a quick repair job allowed him to roar back to win and cut overall leader and defending Rally champion Stephane Peterhansel’s overall event lead to just under eight minutes. Stage 2 winner, France’s Cyril Despres, finished second Monday, three minutes behind Al-Attiyah.

There was one significant incident in the stage. Spain’s Nani Roma, who won the Rally in 2014, rolled his car close to the finish line. He managed to roll the damaged vehicle across the finish line, but was then whisked away to a local hospital with reported head and neck injuries.

MORE: Dakar Rally daily stages schedule, NBCSN broadcast schedule, list of all competitors.

MORE: Stage 2 wrapup

MORE: Stage 1 wrapup

Here’s how all five classes fared after Stage 3, as well as the overall leaders after the first three stages:

CARS

  • 1. Qatar’s Nasser Al-Attiyah, Toyota, 3:09:08
  • 2. France’s Stephane Peterhansel, Peugeot, 3:13:13
  • 3. Spain’s Carlos Sainz, Peugeot, 3:15:15
  • 4. France’s Cyril Despres, Peugeot, 3:16:51
  • 5. France’s Sebastien Loeb, Peugeot, 3:17:42

OVERALL LEADERS

  • 1. France’s Stephane Peterhansel
  • 2. France’s Cyril Despres
  • 3. Qatar’s Nasser Al-Attiyah
  • 4. France’s Sebastien Loeb
  • 5. South Africa’s Giniel de Villiers

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MOTORCYCLES

In the other marquee class in the Rally, British motorcycle rider Sam Sunderland captured his second of the first three stages, defeating Argentina’s Kevin Benavides by more than three minutes on Monday.

In doing so, Sunderland is back atop the overall standings heading into Tuesday’s Stage 4. Joan Barreda Bort, who won Stage 2, missed a turn in Stage 3, was forced to double back and took a huge drop to 28th in the overall standings.

  • 1. England’s Sam Sunderland, KTM, 3:20:43
  • 2. Argentina’s Kevin Benevides, Honda, 3:02:27
  • 3. Australia’s Toby Price, KTM, 3:24:11
  • 4. USA’s Ricky Brabec, Honda, 3:24:38
  • 5. Chile’s Pablo Quintanilla, Husqvarna, 3:25:03

As for the position of the five Americans in the class:

  • 4th: Ricky Brabec (Honda), 3:24:38
  • 25th: Andrew Short (Husqvarna), 3:45:02
  • 26th: Shane Esposito (KTM), 3:46:51
  • 72nd: Bill Conger (Husqvarna), 4:44:40
  • 109th: Mark Samuels (Honda), 5:38:13

OVERALL LEADERS

  • 1. England’s Sam Sunderland
  • 2. Argentina’s Kevin Benavides
  • 3. Chile’s Pablo Quintanilla
  • 4. Australia’s Toby Price
  • 5. USA’s Ricky Brabec]

Here’s how Barreda Bort’s day went:

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TRUCK

Argentina’s Federico Villagra rolled to the Stage 3 triumph, beating defending Rally champion, Russian Eduard Nikolaev, by 25 seconds in Stage 3. Russia’s Ayrat Mardeev came in third with Czech Republic’s Martin Macik and Belarus’s Aliaksei Vishneuski a distant fourth and fifth respectively.

However, Nikolaev retained the overall lead in the class by nearly a seven-minute margin over Villagra.

  • 1. Argentina’s Federico Villagra (Iveco), 3:57:37
  • 2. Russia’s Eduard Nikolaev (Kamaz), 3:57:12
  • 3. Russia’s Ayrat Mardeev (Kamaz), 4:00:46
  • 4. Czech Republic’s Martin Macik (Liaz), 4:09:55
  • 5. Belarus’s Aliaksei Vishneuski (Maz), 4:21:04

OVERALL LEADERS

  • 1. Russia’s Eduard Nikolaev
  • 2. Argentina’s Federico Villagra
  • 3. Belarus’s Aliaksei Vishneuski
  • 4. Belarus’s Siarhei Vlazovich
  • 5. Czech Republic’s Martin Macik

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QUADS

  • 1. Chile’s Ignacio Casale (Yamaha), 3:58:08
  • 2. Peru’s Alexis Hernandez (Yamaha), 4:07:03
  • 3. Argentina’s Pablo Copetti (Yamaha), 4:13:00
  • 4. Brazil’s Marcelo Medeiros (Yamaha), 4:13:07
  • 5. Argentina’s Gustavo Gallego (Yamaha), 4:15:51

OVERALL LEADERS

  • 1. Chile’s Ignacio Casale
  • 2. Russia’s Sergei Kariakin
  • 3. Argentina’s Pablo Copetti
  • 4. Peru’s Alexis Hernandez
  • 5. Argentina’s Gustavo Gallego

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SxS UTV

  • 1. Peru’s Juan Uribe Ramos (Can-Am), 4:30:36
  • 2. France’s Patricie Garrouste (Polaris), 4:47:49
  • 3. France’s Claudio Fournier (Polaris), 5:12:48
  • 4. Peru’s Anibal Aliaga (Polaris), 5:56:59
  • 5. Brazil’s Reinaldo Varela (Can-Am), 6:35:02

OVERALL LEADERS

  • 1. Peru’s Juan Uribe Ramos
  • 2. France’s Patricie Garrouste
  • 3. Peru’s Anibal Aliaga
  • 4. France’s Claudio Fournier
  • 5. Brazil’s Reinaldo Varela

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STAGE 4: On Tuesday, the Rally will take a circuitous course that both begins and ends in San Juan de Marcona, Peru.

GoDaddy to sponsor Patrick in ‘Danica Double’ at Daytona, Indy — now all she needs are rides

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By The Associated Press

Danica Patrick is going back to green.

GoDaddy Green, to be exact – a fitting color for her farewell tour.

The company will sponsor Patrick in the upcoming “Danica Double” that will close out her racing career, The Associated Press has learned. Patrick has no ride yet for next month’s Daytona 500 or the Indianapolis 500 in May, but she now has the financial backing to pull it off.

This time around, the original GoDaddy Girl will symbolize the new core mission of the company that helped make her one of the world’s most recognizable athletes.

“There’s this great story: I left IndyCar with GoDaddy on my car, I started NASCAR with GoDaddy on my car, I’m most recognized as the GoDaddy green car and driver, and so to finish up my career that way feels appropriate,” Patrick told the AP from Scottsdale, Arizona.

Her final race will be the Indy 500, an appropriate choice because it was “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” that rocketed Patrick and GoDaddy into pop culture notoriety.

GoDaddy and Patrick grew up together. The company switched series with her and marketed her as a strong, sexy woman in 13 Super Bowl commercials – a record appearance for celebrities. Now, the company is most interested in Patrick the budding businesswoman who is firmly closing the door on her racing career and rebranding herself as an entrepreneur . She has a book out, an apparel line, a wine label and confirmed to AP this week that she’s dating Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

“Our goals are so well-aligned,” Barb Rechterman, the chief marketing officer of GoDaddy, told AP. “She’s passionate, tenacious and creative just like so many of our customers who are also looking to leverage the power of the internet and turn their `side hustle’ into a full-time business. Danica absolutely epitomizes the heart of our GoDaddy customers.”

Prepare to hear a lot about the “side hustle” as GoDaddy climbs aboard the so-far fledgling “Danica Double.”

Patrick announced in November she would end her driving career with the Daytona 500 and Indy 500, but didn’t have a deal completed for either race. Still doesn’t. Yet somehow, Patrick always figures a way to get what she wants. Talks ended with Chip Ganassi Racing about a possible ride, and late last month, Patrick said, she called former GoDaddy founder Bob Parsons and asked about a reunion.

GoDaddy has rebranded since it last teamed with Patrick. The company now touts itself as “the world’s largest cloud platform dedicated to small, independent ventures,” and there’s no better spokeswoman than Patrick, who is in the next chapter of her life and her brand.

GoDaddy pulled out of racing after the 2015 season, and Patrick hasn’t had the same level of funding and marketing support since. Patrick has slowly reshaped her image, first into a Instagram model and is now a full-blown lifestyle guru. She realized – at the age of 35 – she was on her own.

She and GoDaddy aligned for a splashy move into NASCAR, where she was glamorous off the track but only mediocre on it. Through all of this, she was married, divorced, spent five years dating fellow driver and competitor Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and then seemed to find herself through a tailored diet, exercise and a healthy lifestyle.

She is cutting the cord on racing after Indy, and her focus is on a sense of well-being far away from the track.

“Their business is so perfectly paired to what is going on with mine, so when we sat down and met, it was like, `Let’s talk about our business. Let’s talk about the messaging. How does this work?”‘ Patrick said. “And this is undeniably perfect for both of us. Not only is it a huge two races and the biggest two races of the year, but on top of that, you have so much `side hustle’ going on, and all the messaging and our brands, and where we are going is so perfectly paired.”w

GoDaddy can help Patrick move on to whatever it is for racing’s former “It Girl.” The company will help her streamline her online presence. Patrick, for the company, is back as a neon green-and-yellow symbol to all the wannabe entrepreneurs chasing dreams.

She’ll get those rides, too. Patrick said she knows she will because she believes she will.

“That’s just the way the universe works,” she said. “You have to ask for what you want. Things have taken a long time with this, but you just have to go with the flow on these things. The universe is not on your time schedule.”

More AP auto racing: https://racing.ap.org/