Dakar Stage 10: Heroic Price takes Dakar victory as KTM enjoy podium lock out with Walkner and Sunderland
Total 223 miles with 70 mile Special stage
Australian Toby Price has won the 2019 Dakar. The 31 year old defied the odds to take victory having ridden the entire race with a severe wrist injury. It marks Price’s second Dakar victory having first won the race in 2016. In 2017 he broke his leg on stage four before finishing runner-up in 2018.
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Going into the final 70 miles timed Special Stage with just a 1m 03s advantage over Husqvarna man Pablo Quintanilla the battle for overall victory went down to the wire. But Quintanilla suffered a heavy crash during the final stage and eventually limped home to secure fourth overall.
Price’s victory means that he maintains KTM’s incredible run of victories which now stands at 18 consecutive wins in the bike class.
Price said: “It feels amazing to stand here knowing I have won the Dakar, I don’t think it has really sunk in yet. I thought at the beginning of the event I would be lucky to even make the rest day. My Red Bull KTM bike has been amazing, I want to say a big thank you to my mechanic for that. The whole crew here do an amazing job – without them I would be no one. The team put in so much work on the lead up to the event and when we get here it’s down to me out there on the track so it feels amazing to be able to reward them all with this result and keep KTM’s winning streak going.
“It was so tight going into the stage this morning, both Pablo and I knew we would have to push right from the start. Unfortunately for him, he went too hard off a dune but he really deserves a win too – everyone that starts this race deserves a win. The plan now is to go home and relax for a little while, I know I need to have my wrist seen to, so I’ll get that sorted and then it won’t be long before we start it all over again.”
Second place went to last years winner Matthias Walkner, who was also riding injured having sustained a bad ankle injury during the first half of the race. The Austrian finished 9m 13s adrift after nearly 34 hours of racing.
Britain’s Sam Sunderland bagged the last place on the podium in what has been a testing Dakar. The 29 year old has shown incredible pace with two stage wins and secured third place after a 1 hour time penalty at the end of stage eight was scrapped.
He said: “It always feels good to cross the finish line at the Dakar. It’s been a seriously tough race for all involved, not just for me, but for all the teams, the riders and the organisation. The bike has been flawless all week, so I have to thank my mechanic. I’m over the moon to take third position, it’s not quite the result I was hoping for but even a finish at the Dakar is an achievement in itself. Congratulations to Toby, he has put in such a brave ride all week.”
Sunderland was the only Brit to finish the race with Max Hunt forced to abandon his race on stage five and Richard Main suffering serious injuries after crashing out of stage nine.
Results Stage 10
1 Toby Price KTM 1h 14m 01s
2 Ignacio Cornejo Honda + 2m 21s
3 Matthias Walkner KTM + 2m 38s
4 Sam Sunderland KTM + 3m 19s
5 Luciano Benavides KTM + 3m 20s
6 Kevin Benavides Honda + 3m 59s
Dakar 2019 final results
1 Toby Price KTM 33h 57m 16s
2 Matthias Walkner KTM + 9m 13s
3 Sam Sunderland KTM + 13m 34s
4 Pablo Quintanilla Husqvarna + 20m 46s
5 Andrew Short Husqvarna + 44m 10s
6 Xavier De Soultrait Yamaha + 54m 00s