Toby Price lost almost 50 minutes Stage 10 of the Dakar Rally. Pic: KTM /
Toby Price lost almost 50 minutes Stage 10 of the Dakar Rally. Pic: KTM /

Price’s Dakar hopes shattered on Stage 10

MOTORSPORT: Australian rider Toby Price's hopes of winning the Dakar Rally have taken a severe blow after a disastrous and dramatic Stage 10.

All but one of the top six riders in the overall classification lost large amounts of time late in the stage after getting lost in a river bed, while a crash just three kilometres from the end of the stage forced overnight leader Adrian Van Beveren to retire from the rally.

In the car category, a win for Stephane Peterhansel resumed Peugeot's lockout of the top two spots overall, although Carlos Sainz's lead dwindled by 13 minutes.

The stage from Salta to Belen began with a 424km road section ahead of the 373km competitive test marked by sandy dunes early in the stage, with a series of tricky river crossings towards the end of the test.

Toby Price on his KTM motorbike in the Dakar Rally.
Toby Price on his KTM motorbike in the Dakar Rally. Martin Mejia


Price was riding in a group with KTM teammate Antoine Meo and Honda's Kevin Benavides, the trio setting the pace on the stage right up to the final waypoint.

However, all three were caught out by following the wrong river bed at the 150km mark, several other top runners including Joan Barreda and Ricky Brabec making the same mistake.

"It's one of those days you want to forget," Price said.

"The notes all seemed to say 150km and the rio we got into started at 150km. We thought we'd got it right, but obviously not.

"I don't know ... the roadbook is a bit average at the moment but that's the way it is.

"For us it's pretty much done. We'll just keep plugging away each day and see what happens. You never know, but it's not looking too good … That's the way it is

"A bit tough, but that's the way it is. I've just got to try and see what the rest of the week will bring now. It was a bit of a hot one and I didn't have much fluid, so I'm a bit drained and dehydrated."


As bad as the day was for Price, it was far worse for Van Beveren.

The Frenchman didn't make the same mistake as Price and co and looked set to increase his margin at the head of the standings, only to crash with just three kilometres left in the stage.

Initial medical checks found he'd broken his right collar bone and injured his thorax and spine, Van Beveren flown out of the stage and out of the rally.

France's Adrien Van Beveren crashed out on Stage 10 of the Dakar Rally.
France's Adrien Van Beveren crashed out on Stage 10 of the Dakar Rally.

After all that, Matthias Walkner had a trouble-free run to claim the stage and the overall lead, carrying a solid 39-minute margin over Barreda heading into the final four tests.

"When the tracks from the guys in front disappeared, I got a little worried that I had made a mistake, but I carried on and trusted myself," Walkner said.

"It was a big relief when I saw the waypoint validated and I reached the finish.

"It's always good to take a stage win, but never nice when one of your opponents crashes out. I hope Adrien (Van Beveren) is OK.

"We have a hard stage tomorrow so I'll go about it in the same way and try not to make any mistakes."

Australia's Rodney Faggotter is now the last man standing in the factory Yamaha squad after Van Beveren's crash and the exit of Yamaha France rider Alessandro Botturi.

The Queenslander avoided the dramas struck by others to post his best stage result on the rally so far in 13th, moving his way back up into the top 20.

Fellow Australian Scott Britnell also recorded one of his best results on the rally so far, 56th on the day moving him up to 68th in the ovarll classification.

TOP 5 - Stage 10 from Salta to Belen
1. (19) Antoine Meo (KTM) 4h52m26s
2. (10) Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) +11m35s
3. (3) Gerard Farres (KTM) +16m21s
4. (61) Oriol Mena (Hero) +20m45s
5. (68) Jose Ignacio Cornejo (Honda) +23m14s
13. (44) Rodney Faggotter (Yamaha) +38m07s
19. (8) Toby Price (KTM) +49m17s
56. (97) Scott Britnell (KTM) +2h16m54s

1. (2) Matthias Walkner (KTM) 32h21m03s
2. (5) Joan Barreda (Honda) +39m42s
3. (47) Kevin Benavides (Honda) +41m23s
4. (3) Gerard Farres (KTM) +47m46s
5. (8) Toby Price (KTM) +50m18s
6. (19) Antoine Meo (KTM) +1h03m35s
7. (20) Ricky Brabec (Honda) +1h21m37s
8. (9) Stefan Svitko (KTM) +1h25m09s
9. (10) Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna) +1h30m24s
10. (40) Johnny Aubert (Gas Gas) +1h40m57s
20. (44) Rodney Faggotter (Yamaha) +2h51m04s
68. (97) Scott Britnell (KTM) +18h25m32s

Italics denote Australian riders

Peterhansel on his way to the Stage 10 win.
Peterhansel on his way to the Stage 10 win.

Peugeot's hold on the overall win tightened on the first full day in Argentina, Peterhansel dominating the stage while Sainz took a conservative third place.

The Frenchman benefited from another mechanical issue for Nasser Al-Attiyah, who sustained a broken rear suspension late in the stage.

The Qatari had been just two minutes behind Peterhansel at the final waypoint but lost almost half an hour by the finish of the stage.

"(It) broke all by itself," Al-Attiyah said.

"We couldn't repair anything, so we decided to just continue for the last 70km, but we were going so slowly.

"We tried to keep second overall, but now we are third overall and we will try to keep hold of it. It will be difficult to attack tomorrow. But we'll see what we can do."

Al-Attiyah during Stage 10.
Al-Attiyah during Stage 10.

Although Sainz's lead still stands at 50 minutes, he is not taking victory for granted.

"It was quite a tricky day with some difficult navigation and many rivers to cross," he said.

"I took the first part of the stage quite easy, and then in the second part I increased the speed a little bit.

"Everything is good right now, but we still have one of the toughest days of the rally ahead of us tomorrow, and anything can happen at any moment."

TOP 5 - Stage 10 from Salta to Belen
1. (300) Peterhansel/Cottret (Peugeot) 4h43m46s
2. (304) De Villiers/Von Zitzewitz (Toyota) +8m46s
3. (303) Sainz/Cruz (Peugeot) +13m07s
4. (319) Al Qassimi/Panseri (Peugeot) +19m11s
5. (309) Ten Brinke/Perin (Toyota) +22m22s

1. (303) Sainz/Cruz (Peugeot) 32h10m53s
2. (300) Peterhansel/Cottret (Peugeot) +50m35s
3. (301) Al-Attiyah/Baumel (Toyota) +1h12m46s
4. (309) Ten Brinke/Perin (Toyota) +1h22m15s
5. (304) De Villiers/Von Zitzewitz (Toyota) +1h22m48s
6. (312) Przygonski/Colsoul (Mini) +2h29m11s
7. (319) Al Qassimi/Panseri (Peugeot) +2h51m46s
8. (311) Prokop/Tomanek (Ford) +4h18m21s
9. (334) Van Merksteijn/Marton (Toyota) +5h33m14s
10. (331) Halpern/Pulenta (Toyota) +7h40m39s

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