News 12 Jan 2021

‘Bush mechanic’ Price defies the odds with stage eight result

Second position for Australian despite having to continue with damaged tyre.

Image: Supplied.

A badly-damaged rear tyre midway through the marathon stage eight was unable to halt Toby Price in the Dakar Rally, loosely repairing the problem and going on to claim runner-up on Monday.

Marking the second half of the rally’s marathon stage at 709 kilometres, Price was second in the stage and maintains that same position overall.

The Australian led till well over the halfway point on Sunday when unfortunately a rock sliced open his rear tyre, forcing him to ease his pace to the finish. Not able to change or swap the damaged item due to the marathon stage rules, Price carried out a makeshift repair last night before today.

Riding cautiously, Price successfully completed the stage in an incredible second place. Testament to the quality of the Michelin tyre and the repair made by Price, the two-time winner remains well in the hunt for the podium, lying second overall in the provisional standings.

“It’s been a really tough couple of days for me,” Price said. “I damaged my tyre yesterday and, of course, not being allowed to change it, I had to repair it as best I could for today and hope it held up.

“I rode a good stage, but all the while I was trying to be as smooth as possible – not accelerate too hard in case the issue got worse. Second on the day is not bad at all, I lost a little more time to the rally leader, but I’m just glad I got to the finish line.”

After suffering a nasty fall while cresting a dune on stage seven, Daniel Sanders required several stitches below his lip at the overnight bivouac. Although feeling tired and a little sore this morning, he impressed once again with a superb ride that took him to seventh place on the stage. He’s now eighth overall.

“I struggled to focus a little today,” Sanders said. “I think I was a little tired from yesterday and the crash I had. Thankfully I didn’t have any major problems, I just tried to put in a solid ride through the stage. I’m glad I’m here at the finish near enough in one piece.”

Of the remaining Australian riders at Dakar, Michael Burgess (BAS Dakar KTM Racing Team) currently sits 33rd 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.