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Charting Toby Price’s charge to Dakar greatness

Gordon Lomas

Sunday 17th January, 2016 - 5:09am

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thumbToby Price began his assault as a fully fledged KTM Red Bull-backed factory rider by finishing 16th in the prologue, only 18s off the pace.

Below is a summary of how Price joined the immortals of offroad racing.

Stage 1 – Rosario to Villa Carlos Paz – 227km

Organisers were forced to cancel the stage following stormy weather with the standings from the prologue carrying over.

Leaders after Stage 1
1. Joan Barreda Bort (ESP) 06:36
2. Ruben Faria (PRT) 06:37
3. Helder Rodrigues (PRT) 06:30
Toby Price16. Toby Price (AUS) 06:45

Stage 2 – Villa Carlos Paz to Termas De Rio Hondo – 450km

Price made his initial move by storming to the stage win and the overall lead by 20s.

Leading stage results
1. Toby Price (AUS) 03:53:09
2. Ruben Faria (PRT) 03:54:11
3. Alain Duclos (FRA) 03:55:02
4. Matthias Walkner (AUT) 03:55:08
5. Stefan Svitko (SVK) 03:55:30

Stage 3 – Termas De Rio Hondo to San Salvador De Jujuy – 314km

Shortened from its original distance to less than 200km due to the bad weather, Price opened the run but finished 8 minutes adrift, however he remained in the top 10.

Leading stage results
1. Stefan Svitko (SVK) 06:27:04
2. Kevin Benavides (ARG) 06:27:38
3. Joan Barreda Bort (ESP) 06:27:50
4. Paulo Goncalves (PRT) 06:27:58
5. Alain Duclos (FRA) 06:28:00

Toby PriceStage 4 – San Salvador De Jujuy to San Salvador De Jujuy – 429km

Portugal’s Paulo Goncalves (Honda) took the stage win and begin and tense fight with Price taking fifth to move up the rankings.

Leading stage results
1. Joan Barreda Bort (Honda) 4:05:30
2. Paulo Goncalves (Honda) 4:07:19
3. Ruben Faria (Husqvarna) 4:09:54
4. Kevin Benavides (Honda) 4:09:56
5. Toby Price (KTM) 4:11:20

Stage 5 – San Salvador De Jujuy to Uyuni – 327km

Pivotal moment for Price who claimed his second stage win by more than two minutes from fellow KTM rider Stefan Svitko which saw him move to third in the overall classifications.

Leading stage results
1. Toby Price (AUS) 04:03:44
2. Stefan Svitko (SVK) 04:06:17
3. Matthias Walkner (AUT) 04:06:24
4. Joan Barreda Bort (ESP) 04:09;41
5. Pablo Quintanilla (ESP) 04:10:35

Toby PriceStage 6 – Uyuni to Uyuni – 542km

Price seals his third stage win with a masterful ride.

The 1:05s victory saw him narrow the gap to leader Goncalves by less than 35s overall.

Leading stage results
1. Toby Price (AUS) 5:51:48
2. Matthias Walkner (AUT) 5:52:53
3. Paulo Goncalves (PRT) 5:53:00
4. Stefan Svitko (SVK) 5:56:32
5. Helder Rodrigues (PRT) 5:57:11

Stage 7 – Uyuni to Salta – 353km

The stage for bikes was abbreviated after violent thunderstorms with Antione Meo winning the run.

Aussie Price stopped to help another rider and was 15th but was handed back his time.

Price now spotted Goncalves 3:12s.

Toby PriceLeading stage results
1. Kevin Benavides (ART) 02:29:20
2. Paulo Goncalves (PRT) 02:29:23
3. Michael Metge (FRA) 02:31:18
4. Toby Price (AUS) 02:32:00

Stage 8 – Salta to Belen – 393km

The stage proved another pivotal moment for Price who regained the lead after a blistering run.

Price managed to completely erase his deficit in the overall standings and bounce back to the top by just over two moments from Goncalves and claim his fourth stage win.

Leading stage results
1. Toby Price (AUS) 04:33:14
2. Paulo Goncalves (PRT) 04:38:31
3. Pablo Quintanilla (ESP) 04:39:46
4. Stefan Svitko (SVK) 04:14:16
5. Kevin Benavides (ART) 04:41:20

Toby PriceStage 9 – Belen to Belen – 285km

With another run shortened, Price managed to make the most of the situation by stretching his lead to over 24 minutes.

Had it not been interrupted Price was on target to blow that advantage out by further.

Crucially his main rival, Goncalves, suffered a huge setback tumbling out of contention after a tree branch speared through his radiator.

Leading stage results
1. Toby Price (AUS) 02:24:19
2. Kevin Benavides (ART) 02:31:29
3. Stefan Svitko (SVK) 02:34:52
4. Pablo Quintanilla (CHL) 02:35:07
5. Ricky Brabec (USA) 02:35:22

Toby PriceStage 10 – Belen to La Rioja – 278km

Playing out his advantage in brilliant style Price took a measured approach, ultimately finishing third in the stage.

Svitko won the run but made little impression on the overall time Price had up his sleeve with the Australian continuing to show the way by over 23 minutes.

Leading stage results
1. Stefan Svitko (SVK) 03:47:23
2. Kevin Benavides (ART) 03:50:17
3. Toby Price (AUS) 03:53:10
4. Paulo Goncalves (PRT) 03:53:24
5. Antoine Meo (FRA) 03:55:06

Stage 11 – La Rioja to San Juan – 431km

KTM French rider Antoine Meo began a march by winning the stage and sitting third overall.

However Price managed to stretch his advantage over Svitko to more than 35 minutes.

Goncalves, who had earlier in the rally staged an enthralling duel with Price, was now officially out of the event after falling and injuring himself.’

Screen Shot 2016-01-16 at 9.00.19 amLeading stage results
1. Antoine Meo (FRA) 05:19:08
2. Toby Price (AUS) 05:19:26
3. Pablo Quintanilla (CHL) 05:21:56
4. Helder Rodrigues (PRT) 05:25:10
5. Adrien Van Bevern (FRA) 05:31:17

Stage 12 – San Juan to Villa Carlos Paz – 481km

Taking nothing to chance, Price decided to let eventual stage winner Helder Rodrigues (Yamaha) through, mindful of protecting his tyres on the tricky surface.

Price would see his lead increase further to over 37 minutes, a comfortable position to be in heading into the final day of the most gruelling of all offroad competitions.

Leading stage results
1. Helder Rodrigues (PRT) 06:00.24
2. Toby Price (AUS) 06:04.56
3. Kevin Benavides (ARG) 06:05.19
4. Stefan Svitko (SVK) 06:07.12

Stage 13 – Villa Carlos Paz to Rosario – 180km

Price ensured he finished the event safe and sound, crossing the finish fourth but in front of his nearest rival to deliver Australia with its maiden triumph in the world’s greatest offroad challenge.

Leading stage results

  1. Pablo Quintanilla (CHL) 01:51.27
  2. Kevin Benavides (ARG) 01:53.08
  3. Helder Rodrigues (PRT) 01:54.04
  4. Toby Price (AUS) 01:55.49

Top five overall 

Position

Number

Rider

Marque

Time

variation

Penalty

 1

3

 Toby Price (AUS)

KTM

48:09:15

 2

5

 Stefan Svitko (SVK)

KTM

48:48:56

00:39:41

00:01:00

 3

4

Pablo Quintanilla (CHL)

HUSQVARNA

48:58:03

00:48:48

 4

47

Kevin Benavides (ARG)

HONDA

49:04:02

00:54:47

 5

7

Helder Rodrigues  (PRT)

YAMAHA

49:04:59

00:55:44

00:05:00

 

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