After finishing third in his debut Dakar event last year, Australian Toby Price took out the big prize after claiming five stages on the way to overall victory.
Price finished fourth on the 13th and final stage, finishing up in the Argentine city of Rosario. His lead at the beginning of the day was 37 minutes, and finished the long 180km stage in 1 hour, 55 minutes and 49 seconds to take his final victorious lead to 39 minutes and 41 seconds.
Today’s thirteenth and last stage of the 2016 Dakar Rally brought the competitors from Villa Carlos Paz’ bivouac to Rosario’s podium through a 699 kilometres journey on twisty, undulating routes and faster sandy and rocky sections. The 180-kilometre special of this last Dakar stage was probably the most challenging of the whole competition, with high stakes for the leaders. The battle for the podium was fierce and the front-runners all knew that anything could happen on the Dakar in the home stretch.
The reverse departure order was the main characteristic of today’s stage, making it even more challenging as the last riders of the overall ranking started first and raised much dust on the route, which forced the rider topping the leader board to slow down their pace.
Stefan Svitko finished overall second while Pablo Quintanilla was third, despite taking out the final stage of the 16 day event.
Price was overjoyed at his victory and spoke about how he managed to claim the title.
“I tackled the race in true Aussie style. I attacked when I had to, when the time was right, and I kept an eye on my bike during the all-important marathon stages.
“I also navigated rather well. I hope this is just the start, to win again. It won’t be easy, so I’ve got to savour this victory.”
He thanked his family and friends, only to then stress the surprise of getting so far this early in his career during the event.
“Winning in my second participation is awesome, but being the first Australian to win the Dakar is just insane. I would’ve never imagined this two years ago. Finishing the rally is already a triumph. Winning it is amazing”
Dakar Rally General Classification of Event after Leg 13
1. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 48:09:15
2. Stefan Svitko (SVK), KTM, 48:48:56, +00:39:41
3. Pablo Quintanilla (CHL), Husqvarna, 48:58:03, +00:48:48
4. Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, 49:04:02, +00:54:47
5.Hélder Rodrigues (PRT), Yamaha, 49:04:59, +00:55:44
6.Adrien Van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 49:55:44, +01:46:29
7. Antoine Méo (FRA), KTM, 50:06:02, +01:56:47
8. Gerard Farres Guell (ESP), KTM, 50:10:15, +02:01:00
9. Ricky Brabec (USA), Honda, 50:20:42, +02:11:27
10. Armand Monleon (ESP), KTM, 51:37:04, +03:27:49
— Toby Price (@tobyprice87) January 16, 2016