I won't talk about the stage/overall standings - Dusty will post that up, I assume, or you can just look at the Dakar site yerself. So here's some random folks who Leicester likes to follow:

Bikes:

Perennial privateer Pal Anders Ullevalseter withdrew after stage 2 due to a blown engine. A great disappointment for a consistent racer and repeat top-10 finisher.

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Tough cutie Laia Sanz sits at the 20th position after 3 stages. Looks like she's the only woman on a bike this year?

Cars:

Hollee buckets - just noted that Guerlain Chicerit's Jeffries buggy is driven by a Corvette LS7. He's making up time after a devastating 1st stage, but out of the overall running - hopefully the driver and buggy continue to make a good showing regardless and puts Damen Jeffries on the international rally spotlight.

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Crazy Dutchman Tim Colonel is in 53rd position for the day and 47th overall in his solo buggy. Colonel has made it a Dakar quest to run solo in a buggy for the fun(?) and challenge - he tends to finish in the middle of the pack, but he does finish... There is another solo driver (Eric Bernard) in 30th position.

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Isabelle Patissier is in 49th position for the day and 43rd overall in a buggy. I first followed her as a competitive climber during the neon lycra-clad late 80s/early 90s, after which she retired and switched to competitive rally.

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(Not a current photo)

Quads - dunno - they are little buzzy things that people race, although favorite Marcos Patronelli withdrew today.

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Trucks - dunno - they are big rumbly things that people race, typically northern Europeans and Rooskies.

General observations - jeezuz these first few stages have been brutal - the heat and elevation changes have been rough on both vehicles and drivers/riders. There have been a number of medical withdrawals due to exhaustion and dehydration. And many folks have been hamstrung by multiple punctures during the stages (6 today for Peterhansel) - they are apparently routing the stages through Argentinian caltrop fields.

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