Howes admits Dakar Stage 12 ‘not really my best’

Skyler Howes

Skyler Howes. Picture: ASO/Horacio Cabilla

Now former Dakar Rally leader Skyler Howes admits Stage 12 of the event was “not really my best stage”.

The Husqvarna rider lost the overall lead to KTM’s Toby Price when he clocked the sixth fastest time of the 185km special in the Empty Quarter.

Having led by 28 seconds at the start of the stage, he is now 28 seconds behind Price with two days to go in Dakar 2023.

“I would say not really my best stage,” said Howes.

“I didn’t really make it up a couple of the dunes, which was really frustrating. I had to stop at the CP to put a tracker in my back, but all in all it was, like, just a few seconds and stuff like that here and there.

“Still, not my best day out there. It’s a bit frustrating to find the rhythm, but it was clean.

“We got through it okay, the navigation was good, but I felt a bit of the pace today.

“But it was alright and we’ve still got a couple of more days left, so we’ll keep pushing.”

Like Price, Howes is set to go out hard on the penultimate stage of the event, given the starting order will be reversed for what is likely to be a decisive final day.

“Tomorrow [Today] is another dunes day and then the last day is a reverse order start, so the idea would be to push as hard as possible tomorrow,” added the American.

“I think I’m going to have some tracks to follow tomorrow, so I can push really hard.

“That’s what I’ll do, I’ll push as much as I can, and we’ll hopefully come to that last stage in a good position, then we can bring it home.”

KTM rider Kevin Benavides is still also within a shot of overall victory given he trails team-mate Price by 2:40s.

Stage 13, from Shaybah to Al-Hofuf, starts this afternoon (AEDT).

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