The third round of the Cross-Country Rallies World Championship began today at San Teodoro, Sardinia, with a 176km timed run to open the event. After the initial two special stages, Marc Coma was third, 1m29s behind day one winner, Alessandro Botturi. World Championship debutant, Joan Pedrero, who competes at Sardinia for the first time this year, was fifth —2m42s back.Starting from third and twelfth, Marc Coma and Joan Pedrero faced the asphyxiating heat —exceeding 40ºC— of the first stage. The terrain was dry and the dusty surface offered little grip, obliging the competitors to proceed with caution. Both were able to catch up with the rider who set off immediately ahead of them: Coma caught Przygonski and Pedrero latched onto Farrés. Coma made an overtake and claimed third for the day, whilst his teammate was unable to do the same and lost a few seconds in the process, leaving him in fifth.Two new special stages await the riders tomorrow: The first measures 122km and the second 84km, on a marathon run which will see mechanical care playing a big part. Outside assistance is not permitted until the end of the day.Marc Coma : "It was a good first day. Starting off in this race is never easy, because you have to find your pace, ride with a different bike and use a very particular navigation system. I set off third, which meant having practically no reference point, and lost a little time when I had to overtake Przygonski. If you look at the standings, the riders that are ahead were the later starters, so placing third is very positive. There is a long way to go and the important thing is that we haven't lost much time; we are third, which is a good position."Joan Pedrero : "I am happy, because I had never ridden here before and the first stage was very positive. I started from twelfth and made my way through, but I quickly closed down Farrés and came up against a lot of dust. He blocked my progress a little, but when I tried to get past him I ran wide and he got back in front. In any case it has been a good first experience, because I am high up the order without having taken risks. The work that I have been doing over the enduro season has served me well for what we came up against here, plus I found the navigation easy enough. We had been training that aspect and it bore fruit. I like the navigation that we have here, because whilst it is tough, it is also something that you learn a lot from."