Pisco to Pisco Total 254 miles with 194 mile Special stage
It may have been spectacular to watch but stage nine’s mass start that saw the leaders head of in a drag race in groups of ten, failed to deliver quality racing. With Dakar’s elite riders all being so evenly matched it meant they spent the entire day riding together.
At the end of the day Sherco rider Michael Metge who started in the second wave of riders won the stage making him the seventh rider to take a stage win on Dakar 2019.
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Out of the first wave of riders who are fighting for overall glory just two seconds covered the top four with race leader Toby Price consolidating his overall lead despite riding in pain from his badly damaged wrist. Price leads by just 1m 03s ahead of Husqvarna rider Pablo Quintanilla with just one 70 mile timed Special Stage remaining.
He said: “I got through stage nine today where we had the mass-start. There was no chance to make up any time or lose time really, I just had to stick with the group. Tomorrow is only a 100-kilometre stage, but I think it’s going to feel more like 300. The boys are really going to up their pace and all I can do is try my best once more and try to stay with them. If I can get through tomorrow and finish on the podium, I’ll be more than happy.”
But while it was a good day for Price, it was disaster for KTM team-mate San Sunderland who was hit with a one hour time penalty for allegedly tampering with his navigation electronics on stage eight.
It comes as a bitter blow for the Brit who had fought himself back into contention with two stage wins following a broken rear brake caliper that caused him to lose 20 minutes.
It was also a disappointing day for fellow Brit Richard Main and at time of writing the 53 year old was not registering any times after the initial way point meaning he could be out of the race.
Stage 8 results
1 Michael Metge Sherco 3h 46m 38s
2 Daniel Jager Honda + 2m
3 Pablo Quintanilla Husqvarna + 3m 28s
4 Matthias Walkner KTM + 3m 29s
5 Toby Price KTM + 3m 29s
6 Ignacio Cornejo Honda + 3m 30s
1 Toby Price KTM 32h 43m 15s
2 Pablo Quintanilla Husqvarna + 1m 02s
3 Matthias Walkner KTM + 6m 35s
4 Andrew Short Husqvarna + 40m 01s
5 Xavier De Soultrait Yamaha + 47m 44s
6 Ignacio Cornejo Honda + 1h 5m 45s