A second stage win has allowed Marc Coma to stretch his lead following the third day of the Dakar Rally, the Spaniard putting almost 40 minutes between himself and the chasing pack.

Recovering from the mechanical problems that slowed his progress on day two, Coma paced the Puerto Madryn - Jacobacci stage by a mammoth 17 minutes from Pal anders Ullevalseter.

His performance leaves him with a 39mins lead over Davide Fretigne, who moves ahead of Frans Verhoeven after the Dutchman plummeted to 17th position with problems on the stage.

The second fastest time on the stage has allowed Norway's Ullevalseter to move up to third position overall, while Jacek Czachor and Jonah Street maintain fourth and fifth.

Elsewhere, former winner Cyril Despres, regarded as Coma's closest rival in terms of outright speed, is almost certainly out of the running after once again suffering from the recurring tyre problem that afflicted him on day one.

Losing more than an hour to Coma, Despres is classified 21st, 1hr 32mins behind.

Argentina-Chile Dakar 2009 - Positions on SS3:

1. Marc Coma KTM 05hrs 18m 17s
2. Pal anders Ullevalseter KTM +0hrs 17m 49s
3. Jordi Viladoms KTM +0hrs 17m 49s
4. David Casteu KTM +0hrs 18m 16s
5. Gerard Farres Guell KTM +0hrs 18m 42s
6. Michel Marchini Yamaha +0hrs 21m 38s

Argentina-Chile Dakar 2009 - Positions on SS3:

1. Marc Coma KTM 10hrs 31m 49s
2. Davide Fretigne Yamaha +0hrs 39m 11s
3. Pal anders Ullevalseter KTM +0hrs 42m 25s
4. Jacek Czachor KTM +0hrs 43m 21s
5. Jonah Street KTM +0hrs 44m 36s
6. Jordi Viladoms KTM +0hrs 47m 17s

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