The latest special stage was a relatively short 114km journey between Haradh and Shaybah comprised almost entirely of dunes.
Sanders was only 11th-quickest on the stage, and sits a virtually unchanged 23:40s off the overall lead, in seventh position.
He does, however, thus have a favourable position in the road order for the start of the Marathon stages.
“Today was pretty much full send in the dunes so that was fun, but with it being so short, something like 115km, today wasn't the day to be making up too much time,” said the Australian.
“It seems like this part of Saudi missed the rain we had during week one as the sand is dry and a lot softer, so it took me a little while to adjust to it.
“But all is good. I didn't want to finish inside the top 10 today because of the marathon stage starting tomorrow so we're a little bit back in the pack.
“That was the game plan though, so yeah, looking forward to seeing what we can do over the next couple of days.”
He is 1:29s up on Husqvarna's Skyler Howes and 2:10s ahead of fellow factory KTM rider Toby Price with four stages to go.