MOQUEGUA (PERU), Jan. 11 -- At the start of the third day of Dakar 2019 in the coastal town of San Juan de Marcona, rallyists knew they had a long day ahead, covering a distance of 798 km to Arequipa - the second-longest stretch of the rally raid.

However, competitors, irrespective of their categories, were in for a shock as they had to endure much more than sand dunes - which has consisted around 80 percent of their journey. The third stage turned out to be a tricky mix of dunes, rocks, mountains, and dust finer than sand, which can also act as quicksand. But then this is Dakar, the world's toughest and most prestigious rally.


As the rally headed to the hill city of Arequipa, Peru's second largest town after capital Lima, comp...