The mullet and sheer tenacity may precede him, but Toby Price’s (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) efforts after stage four of the 2019 Dakar Rally will become textbook on how to push through pure pain in order to succeed. With a broken wrist and conditions that do no favours for his injury, Price has bumped himself up to third position overall, sittingfour minutes and 22 seconds behind first place holder Ricky Brabec (Monster Energy Honda Team)!
The 2019 Dakar Rally is located in Peru, and entrants must undertake a rally raid made up of 10 stages, bearing through a competition of extremes and orienteering.
After stage four yesterday, Australia’s additional representatives, Ben Young (Duust Rally Team) and James Alistair Ferguson (James Ferguson Team), sit in 78th and 101st place overall, respectively. The 2019 Rally is now led by Brabec in first and Pablo Quintanilla (Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing) in second overall.
Reflecting upon the Peruvian conditions during stage four, Price stated on Instagram:
“That was tough today. It was a long stage and a lot of it was made up of rocky tracks and rivers, they are the worst for my wrist. I did have one get-off along the way but luckily not too bad. I’m not comfortable but it is the way it is and I have to work around it. The goal for the rest of the rally is to keep on doing what I’ve been doing and get the best result possible.”
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Marathon Stage 4 – 3rd 🏁 Current Overall Position – 3rd, +4:22 from 1st 🏆 That was tough today. It was a long stage and a lot of it was made up of rocky tracks and rivers, they are the worst for my wrist. I did have one get-off along the way but luckily not too bad. I’m not comfortable but it is the way it is and I have to work around it. The goal for the rest of the rally is to keep on doing what I’ve been doing and get the best result possible.
Commencing back on January 7th, competitors completed stage one covering 331 kilometres from Lima to Pisco. The first day belonged to Joan Barreda Bort (Monster Energy Honda Team), who clocked in the fastest time ahead of Quintanilla by one minute and 34 seconds. Price completed stage one in sixth place, followed by Australia’s Rodney Faggotter (Yamalube Yamaha Offical Rally Team) and Young in 29th and 87th place respectively.
Stage two saw riders traverse 553 kilometres, moving South from Pisco to San Juan de Marcona, with Matthias Walkner (Red Bull KTM Factory Racing) taking out first place and jumping from seventh to second overall in the Rally! Price completed stage two in fourth, and Faggotter and Young moved to 28th and 100th place respectively.
Stage three treated riders to a lengthy 798 kilometres stretched between San Juan de Marcona and Arequipa. Xaiver de Soultrait (Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team) took out first place in this stage, 15 seconds ahead of Quintanilla in second. Price’s wrist caused grief during the day’s tests, resulting in a drop to ninth place for stage three, 14 minutes and 16 seconds behind first place. Unfortunately, Faggotter was forced to withdraw from the remaining event due to a technical issue, experienced during the final stages of the last waypoint.
Today’s stage five will cover 776 kilometres, as competitors tackle the first of two mass starts. With the fifth day making up the second half of the marathon stage, riders will need to successfully conserve their tyres and machines in the hopes of arriving back at the bivouac safely. Travelling from Moquegua back to Arequipa, the standings are expected to experience another shake-up as the likes of Price, Sam Sunderland (Reed Bull KTM Factory Team) and Adrien Van Beveren (Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team) campaign to take their place on the podium.