News 5 Jan 2016

Price takes Dakar Rally lead with stage two win

Red Bull KTM rider signals 2016 intentions early.

Source: Supplied.

Source: Supplied.

After a short prologue and a cancelled first stage, the Dakar genuinely kicked off between Villa Carlos Paz and Termas de Rio Hondo on Monday, where Australia’s Toby Price took the stage two victory to take the overall lead.

On a quick stage without significant navigational difficulties, Red Bull KTM’s Price was the first to leave his mark on the race with his second stage victory on the Dakar.

Battling in the provisional times throughout the special with Ruben Faria, the Australian finally made his superiority count at the end of the stage, grabbing the lead in the general standings by two seconds from his Portuguese rival.

With a place on the final podium on his first Dakar last year, Price is determined to reach a new dimension on the 2016 edition. He lost no time in confirming his ambitions of outright victory in Rosario by winning the first veritable stage of the rally.

The KTM rider did not have an easy day however, faced with Faria, who appeared very comfortable behind the handlebars of his official Husqvarna and who spent a good part of the day at the front of the race.

The Portuguese rider even managed to catch up with the start of the day’s general standings leader, Joan Barreda, who nonetheless started three minutes before him. This allows Faria to be right on Price’s tail in the general standings on Monday evening, whilst Stefan Svitko was the third man to finish the day.

Starting slower than Alain Duclos, the Slovak gradually sped up and, in the end, only lost a minute and a half to the day’s winner. As for the Sherco rider, he can be very satisfied with his start to the rally, because he beat the factory KTM ridden by Matthias Walkner and the Hondas of Paulo Gonçalves and Barreda.

A very noteworthy performance was also given by Argentinean debutant Kevin Benavides, who finished the day in eighth position. As for Pablo Quintanilla, he finished further back, 4m32s behind Price.

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