News 18 Jan 2018

Stage 11 victory places Price in Dakar podium position

Former winner takes out first stage win of the year in marathon.

Image: Supplied.

Australia’s Toby Price sits third in the 2018 Dakar Rally after posting his first stage win on Wednesday, rebounding from a disastrous previous day to pull back important time in stage 11.

The Red Bull KTM rider continues to ride himself back toward peak form after his broken leg of last year’s event and his 1m38s win over Kevin Benavides (Monster Energy Honda) and teammate Antoine Meo was a strong one.

Stage 11 was the first leg of the second marathon stage at this year’s Dakar Rally. The Super Fiambala, as it has come to be known, was a 280km special through the Argentinian dunes with scorching temperatures reaching over 40 degrees. Navigation was massively important, as was the ability to conserve machinery, as no mechanical help could be provided at the bivouac.

Riding hard to make up time on this stage, he led the special from start to finish. This dominant performance moves the Australian up to third in the provisional standings, albeit close to 40-minutes down on the leader, teammate Matthias Walkner, while Benavides is second. His teammate Joan Barreda (Monster Energy Honda) was ruled out of the rally overnight.

Of the other Aussies, Rodney Faggotter (Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team) crossed the line in 16th place, moving him up to 18th on combined times. Grit Adventures KTM rider Scott Britnell impressed in 50th, now 61st overall.

Stage 12, the second leg of the final marathon stage, will again test both rider and machine. Following a night in the bivouac with no team assistance, riders will leave Fiambala and head for San Juan. Conserving both machine and energy will be extremely important on this 723km stage.

A long 375km timed special will require good navigational and supreme physical endurance in the Argentinian heat. Winding its way through the dirt tracks and riverbeds of the San Juan region, the route could bring even more changes to the current running order.

Detailed results