News 15 Jan 2016

Meo heads Dakar stage 11 as Price stretches 35-minute lead

Price continues to lead Dakar rally with two stages remaining.

Image: Supplied.

Image: Supplied.

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Antoine Meo has captured the 2016 Dakar Rally stage 11 win, making it two stage wins for the French rider during this year’s event.

Australia’s Toby Price, also part of the Red Bull KTM Factory Racing team, finished just 18 seconds behind Meo, building his overall rally lead to 35 minutes. Rounding out the stage podium was Pablo Quintanilla.

“It’s the third day from the end and it seems to be getting harder and harder, so they are definitely driving us into the ground at the moment,” said Price. “But yeah, it was a good day. We started off third and I caught the guys in front and then sat behind them a bit. They made a mistake and I got past them, but then so did I. I fixed it quite quickly but they had got past me so I just sat there for a while. Then they made another mistake and I was good to go and I rode all the way to the finish.

“We’ve built the overall lead a little bit more, so hopefully I can make the last two days a bit more comfortable. We’ve still got a lot to go so for sure it’s going to be a long one and very tiring.”

With just two stages remaining in the event, the Australian is remaining calm and focused on the task at hand.

“As long as we don’t lose 15 minutes in both these stages I think we will be fairly good. I’ve got to do it nice and smooth, look after the bike and make sure we rest up enough,” Price added. “Hopefully we’ll be in good shape. We’re another day closer, but for sure, it’s been a hard one. I can’t smell victory yet, not yet. I won’t smell victory until I cross the finishing line on the last day.”

Stage 10 winner, KTM rider Stefan Svitko of Slovakia was seventh in stage 11 but still holds second overall position behind Price with Meo in third.