PRICE KNOCKS IT OUT OF THE PARK TO WIN STAGE 12
Stage 12 – the penultimate – of the 2015 Dakar Rally was one to remember with rookie Toby Price delivering an impressive performance to not only bag his debut stage win but cement his position of third overall in the race…
Quick and consistent since the start in Buenos Aires, Toby Price has kept on progressing as he has acquired experience on his first Dakar. The Australian rookie, winner of his first stage in Rosario today and a solid third in the general standings, is one of the revelations of the 2015 edition.
In the top 5 seven times since the start, Toby Price did not have much time left to pick up a possible first success on the Dakar. The Holy Grail for every debutant, already obtained by Matthias Walkner earlier on in the rally, finally fell into the grasp of the KTM rider on a penultimate stage of the rally that he led from start to finish.
“At this stage everything is just feeling good,” told Price. “We’re enjoying it, so it’s been a good experience. There have been a lot of highs and lows and good learning curves as well as a few mistakes, but we’re trying to fix them as best as we can and get to the finishing line. Hopefully, that will happen tomorrow.
“I always knew it was going to be difficult, but you don’t know until you actually come here and have a go. Then you find out how hard it really is.”
Far from lowering the pace after 12 days of racing, the Australian in fact put on a show of force on the road to Rosario by reaching all the time check points in the lead, to consolidate his superb third place in the general standings. He is even not too far (25 minutes) from rally leader Marc Coma, who will have to keep a watchful eye on this newcomer to the rally-raid elite.
Joan Barreda, second to finish, was 1’55” behind Price.
Paulo Gonçalves took the day’s third best time, but it was insufficient, however, to worry Marc Coma, who contented himself with managing his lead in the general standings.
In sixth place, 6’25” behind Price, the Coma did not take any risks and looks to be heading comfortably to his fifth outright triumph on the Dakar. He was beaten by a Slovakian duo in form at the end of this second week of rallying with the 4th place for Ivan Jakes and 5th for Stefan Svitko.
Pablo Quintanilla lost ten minutes to Price, meaning the final podium is slipping away from his grasp.
A strong ride from Frans Verhoeven saw him place ninth with Laia Sanz 10th.
Just one stage is all that’s left to separate Si and Llel Pavey from becoming the first father and son duo to complete the Dakar Rally. They place 62nd and 63rd overall in favour of Llel.