King stage separates boys from the men in Tuareg Rally [Photos]

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The third stage in the Tuareg Rally was a real challenge for man and machine. A special of 320 kilometers was eventually partially shortened and there was a hidden checkpoint in the route. At least, for many riders it was hidden. Five riders, including Martin van den Brink, found the CP.

Also Maikel Verkade could not find the checkpoint and he was pissed: "I was sure I was on the right way but could not find. But I had to go to make sure I could finish the entire stage" says Verkade. The 320 kilometer special had to be done in four laps, only three riders rode the whole stage.

At the finish Maikel Verkade was only 20 seconds behind the German Torsten Kaiser. A nice battle in a tough rally, says Verkade: "I did not expect it to be easy but Kaiser was also quite fast in the sand. I did not quite see it coming, the sand is my property."

Marc Leeuw had a bad day in his DAF. He lost a lot of time and called it his worst 'dune-day' ever. Leeuw has left the special but what that means for his ranking is not clear.

Tomorrow there will be a short stage with only 80 kilometers. The professional riders will drive four laps and the amateurs will stick to two and can get a little bit of rest after some hard days.

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Tuareg Rally