Toby Price was one of the big movers on Stage 3, the Aussie steadily moving up into overall contention with a solid third placed finish.
On a day where overnight leader Joan Barreda lost 28 minutes due to multiple navigational errors, defending champion Sam Sunderland pounced on a Pablo Quintanilla issue in the final kilometres to win the stage in front of Kevin Benavides.
Price said: “It was difficult with the navigation and we had a couple of crashes. The pace is definitely here and we know we can run at the front.”
The 2018 Dakar Rally really heated up on the dunes of the 296km special stage between Pisco and San Juan de Marcona.
With everyone pushing hard and jostling for early gained minutes on the leaderboard it made for an exciting day of racing.
Tomorrow sees mass starts on the beach at San Juan de Marcona followed by one of the longest-ever sandy sections in Dakar history as part of the 330km special stage.