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Toby Price edges closer to historic Dakar win

Gordon Lomas

Saturday 16th January, 2016 - 8:31am

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Toby Price goes into the final Dakar Rally leg with a lead of more than 37 minutes

Toby Price goes into the final Dakar Rally leg with a lead of more than 37 minutes

Red Bull KTM factory rider Toby Price is tantalisingly close to creating history in the Dakar Rally after the penultimate stage in Argentina.

Price will enjoy a lead of more than 37 minutes going into the final stage tomorrow.

A relatively trouble-free run through the giant 481km Stage 11 from San Juan to Villa Carlos Paz sees Price go into the final day leading Stefan Svitko (KTM) with Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) a further 53 minutes back.

Escorted by Antoine Meo from the start of the special, the Australian made sure he avoided any mistakes to complete the 481 kilometres of the special.

Bad luck befell Antoine Meo who had escorted Price out from the start of the stage after he was under instruction from the factory team to provide protection and assistance to the New South Welshman.

The Frenchman suffered an injury to his hand after a heavy fall less than 50km from the finish, eventually ending 38 minutes behind the stage winner which saw him slip three places.

The stage victory went to Helder Rodrigues (Yamaha) who climbs to fourth overall.

Price said he decided not to fight Rodrigues who had passed on him the stage, mindful of protecting his tyres.

“It was really sketchy, really skatey and it felt like I was riding on ice,” Price said.

Mikko Hirvonen took his maiden stage win in the MIni

Mikko Hirvonen took his maiden stage win in the Mini

“We had a couple of excursions off the track a couple of times so we thought we’d whack it down and make sure that we get to the finish.”

In the car category, Stephane Peterhansel remains on track to record a 12th Dakar win in his Peugeot DKR 2008.

Peterhansel was sixth in the stage and goes into the run leg with a 41 minute lead.

The stage was won by Mini driver Mikko Hirvonen who remains a chance to spring from fourth overall and claim a podium.

He sits just over four minutes behind third placed Toyota driver Giniel De Villiers.

Hirvonen’s fellow Mini driver Nasser Al Attiyah maintains second outright after falling just nine seconds short of the Finn in Stage 12.

The final leg comprises a 180km run from Villa Carlos Paz to the finish at Rosario.

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