TOBY Price claimed his first win of the 2018 Dakar Rally in yesterday’s stage 11 in Argentina.
The Australian Red Bull KTM Factory Team rider ended a drought of victories by leading at every waypoint of the 280km Belen-Fiambala stage, while Matthias Walkner retained his overall lead with a conservative ride to finish fifth.
Price moved up to third overall, finishing 1m38s ahead of Honda rider Kevin Benavides.
Price tweeted: ‘It's good to get a stage win! We just needed to try and see if we could claw back a little bit of time, and I think we've done that, but it's still gonna be tough from back where we are! In the first week I was quite conservative, but now I’ve attacked some more!’
Benavides’ teammate Joan Barreda was forced to retire after ‘one too many falls’, sustaining injuries including concussion, according to his Monster Energy Honda team.
The team said: ‘Joan Barreda has retired from the 2018 Dakar whilst still holding second position. After having suffered several falls in some of the earlier stages of the rally and punishing his body severely, the exhausted Spaniard made the decision to completely withdraw.’
It was later announced that today’s stage 12 was to be cancelled over rider safety concerns.
A statement from the organisers said: ‘Following a study of the safety conditions for the bikes and quads race tomorrow, despite a first modification of the stage announced this afternoon, having consulted the competitors grouped at the marathon bivouac in Fiambala, the Race Direction has taken the decision to cancel the 12th special stage for bikes and quads.’
Here are the standings for stage 11:
It's good to get a stage win! We just needed to try and see if we could claw back a little bit of time, and I think we've done that, but it's still gonna be tough from back where we are! In the first week I was quite conservative, but now I’ve attacked some more! #Dakar2018 pic.twitter.com/Qs9oi57zHG
— Toby Price (@tobyprice87) January 18, 2018