Runner-up result for Benavides on stage three of 2023 Desafio Ruta 40

Luciano Benavides has put in another strong, smooth performance at his home race – the Desafio Ruta 40 – to claim his third consecutive second-place stage result at the event. With the rally now past its halfway point, Benavides lies second overall and trails the provisional leader by just over six minutes.

Leaving the bivouac at Belen early this morning, riders covered 95 kilometres of liaison before facing today’s 265-kilometre timed special stage. A challenging mix of sandy tracks, riverbeds, and several small sections of dunes awaited them with navigation proving key to delivering a fast time.

Despite being the second competitor into the special, Benavides made the absolute minimum of errors and was able to carry his impressive momentum from the previous two stages through to the finish. In completing the special as second fastest, the FR 450 Rally racer increased his advantage over the third-placed rider to over 15 minutes.

Luciano Benavides: “I pushed all day today. The navigation was a lot more of a challenge than on the first two stages, but I think I did a good job and didn’t make too many mistakes. It was actually quite a fast stage with lots of riverbeds and pistes, and only a few small sections of dunes. In general, I am feeling good – I am in a good position in the overall and if I can maintain this pace, it will be really good for the world championship. There’s still a long way to go, so I’ll stay focused and do my best for the rest of the rally.”

2023 Desafio Ruta 40 – Stage 3 Provisional Classification

1. Tosha Schareina (Honda) 2:58:13
2. Luciano Benavides (Husqvarna) 2:59:53
3. Ricky Brabec (Honda) 3:00:05
4. Ross Branch (Hero) 3:06:11
5. Toby Price (KTM) 3:08:13
6. Sebastian Buhler (Hero) 3:08:28

2023 Desafio Ruta 40 – Provisional Overall Classification [After Stage 3]

1. Tosha Schareina (Honda) 10:20:53
2. Luciano Benavides (Husqvarna) 10:27:16
3. Ricky Brabec (Honda) 10:42:56
4. Ross Branch (Hero) 10:43:29
5. Adrien Van Beveren (Honda) 10:44:55
6. Ignacio Cornejo (Honda) 10:53:28