Bike rider Price wins Dakar third stage as Howes goes top

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Dakar Rally

(Reuters) - Australian Toby Price won the third stage of the Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday as American Skyler Howes took the overall lead in the motorbike category.

Two times champion Price, who also won Sunday's opening stage on his KTM but started the day 29th after struggling on Monday, beat Argentine rider Kevin Benavides by a minute and 16 seconds after the 403km loop around Wadi Ad-Dawasir.

Howes, who had been eighth overall overnight, finished fourth on his non-factory KTM to take the lead 33 seconds clear of Benavides.

Price moved up to fourth, one minute and 52 seconds off the lead, with Britain's 2017 winner Sam Sunderland fifth.

Overnight leader Joan Barreda dropped to eighth overall, the Spaniard now more than nine minutes behind Howes, after having to open the stage through the desert dunes.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London; Editing by Hugh Lawson)