News 9 Jan 2021

Dakar led by Price following stage six at halfway point

Rookie Sanders claims another stage podium to climb in rankings.

Image: Supplied.

Red Bull KTM Factory Racing’s Toby Price leads the 2021 Dakar Rally at halfway after recording the seventh-quickest time on a shortened stage six.

Price has won two stages this year – one and three – in what has been a navigational challenge for many, but placed strongly entering week two.

“Today they cut about 100km out of the stage and that definitely helped us because it’s still been a really tough day out there,” Price reflected. “It took a while, but I managed to catch the two guys ahead of me and luckily we were able to keep up a really good pace right at the front.

“I did have one little get-off that twisted the road book tower a little bit, but apart from that there were no problems. It feels great to have taken the overall lead, but after such an up and down week the most important thing is we’re fit and in good shape for the second half of the rally.”

With a total time of 24h08m43s, Price leads Kevin Benavides (Monster Energy Honda) by 2m16s, with Jose Ignacio Cornejo (Monster Energy Honda) currently third overall.

KTM Factory Racing team newcomer Daniel Sanders once again claimed a top-three stage finish on Friday in third position, now ranked an impressive 12th overall and top of the rookies by over an hour.

“It was definitely a physical one today, that’s for sure, and on top of yesterday, it’s been a really tough couple of days,” Sanders said. “I tried my best to make up time today and think I did a good job. This first week has gone well, I’ve certainly learned a lot too and I’m happy with my pace – we’ve still got a long way to go.”

Of the remaining Australian riders in the field, Michael Burgess (BAS Dakar KTM Racing Team) currently sits 38th overall and Andrew Houlihan (Nomadas Adventure KTM) in 61st place.

Follow all of the official results, live timing and detailed updates throughout the 2021 rally at the official Dakar website.