Australia’s motorbike champion has fallen just short of a historic win after 44 hours of racing in the Dakar Rally.
Australia’s motorbike champion Toby Price has fallen devastatingly shy of a historic third Dakar Rally title, having to settle for second place in the overall classification after a tense final stage showdown with Argentina’s Kevin Benavides.
Price entered the 14th and final stage with a slender 12 second lead but after more than 44 hours of racing over two weeks, less than one minute was all that separated the two riders at the end of the torturous desert challenge.
Benavides made a cracking start to the final stage and extended his lead to one minute 29 seconds at the half way mark of the final stage but despite Price’s all-or-nothing finish he could only cross the line third in the stage, his 55 second deficit to the Argentine leaving him just 43 seconds behind the 2021 champion.
Australia’s Red Bull rider was fighting for his career in the 2023 race and while a podium finish should leave his future in no doubt, the Gold Coast rider could just as easily look back at this event as the one that got away after some of the most impressive riding of his career.
In a see-sawing battle that saw several riders claim stage victories and lead the overall classification, Price had only just taken his narrow lead into the final day after a penultimate stage error where he suffered a fall and navigation error.
“I made one little mistake around 130,” he said.
“We went too far right and I took a fall while looking at the top of a dune.
“I’m happy, I’ve put a 100 percent in every day.”
Fellow Australian Daniel Sanders, one of the early leaders of the Rally, finished the final stage in second place for an overall classification result of seventh.
Originally published as Aussie Toby Price falls just shy in pursuit of historic third Dakar Rally motorbike title
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