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Price Nears Consecration

Dakar 2016

maddix park mx

There has been no change in the race lead after this penultimate stage. Toby Price (KTM) enjoyed a trouble-free day on the way to Villa Carlos Paz. The stage victory went to Helder Rodrigues (Yamaha) who finally scored a success this year and climbs up to fourth place in the overall ranking. The prize for the worst luck went to Antoine Meo, who fell less than 20 kilometres from the finishing line. The Frenchman who had decided to sacrifice his third place in the general standings to escort Price, his team leader, lost more than 38 minutes and three places.

It was expected to be a calm day for category leader Toby Price (KTM) and the predictions proved true. The Australian probably did not sweat much underneath his helmet, apart from due to the heat. Escorted by Antoine Meo from the start of the special, the Australian made sure he avoided any mistakes to complete the 481 kilometres of the special. Fortunately, for the stage win, the race was livelier.

It was now or never for Helder Rodrigues (Yamaha). Without a success to date, the Portuguese rider wanted to win and if possible take fifth place in the overall ranking from Kevin Benavides, who he trailed by only 5 minutes. On the attack from the start to the finish of the special, the official Yamaha rider perfectly fulfilled his goals. He was the clear winner, distancing the Honda rider by almost 8 minutes. He also took advantage of Antoine Meo's mishaps and is now fourth, with a lead of 2'59'' over Benavides.

Having ridden faultlessly until today, Antoine Meo came close to catastrophe on the special. Third this morning at the start, the Frenchman sacrificed his place on the podium in keeping with the team instructions to provide protection and assistance to Price. Unfortunately, he suffered a heavy fall less than 50 kilometres from the finishing line. With an injured hand, as well as other damage, he finished the stage slowly, 38 minutes behind the day's winner.

In the overall ranking, Toby Price (KTM) preserves his lead of more than 37 minutes over Stefan Svitko (KTM) and 53 minutes over Pablo Quintanilla (Husqvarna). This should logically enable him to arrive first tomorrow in Rosario. If he manages to do this, Toby Price will be the first Australian rider to win the Dakar, and definitively enter into the rally's history.

Click here for full results for stage 12 and the overall


Toby Price: “We're here at the finishing line and that's the main thing”

“This was a long stage with 480 km. It was on really sharp shale-like rock. It was really sketchy, really skatey and it felt like I was riding on ice. We had a couple of excursions off the track a couple of times so we thought we'd whack it down and make sure that we get to the finish. I looked back and saw Herlder and he was on the gas. He's in the running, but for me he's no problem if he passed me, so I didn't put up a fight. Once he got there, I let him through, then just continued on with my own race. We're here at the finishing line and that's the main thing. I'm not too sure about the strategy because he's stopped on the track now. I don't know if he had problems earlier this morning, but I caught him and he got round. He stuck with me for a bit but now he's stopped again, so I hope there are no engine problems or bike problems for him. We'll wait and see. It kind of worked in my favour a little bit too because I was running on the edge with the tyres, so maybe if we needed to something like this could work, but we got here and we played it safe, so it's all good. I haven't really looked into the history of results yet. I'll look at that tomorrow once it's all done. If that happens it will be a bit of history and I'll be pretty stoked with that. See you tomorrow. Cheers”.

Antoine Meo: “It was one hell of a crash”

“There's one stage left, right? Ah, I didn't dream it. I don't remember anything, just the Iritrack buzzing to call me after the fall. I know that I went to look for a way point at one moment. I'd lost time and was riding with Toby... is that right? It's a pain in the arse. It was one hell of a crash. I'm hurting everywhere, my hand, my neck, my head… everything except my arse!”

Helder Rodrigues: “I tried to push and take fifth place”

“For me it was a great day. I tried to push and to fight a little bit. I had a better second week. On my first week I was sick. At the beginning of this week I took out my shoulder, but now I am okay. Today I could push. I was riding a lot, having a lot of fun, passing Toby and Meo. It was fine, really nice, a really nice day for me. I was riding fast and safely. For me it's good and for Yamaha it is very good to win this day. I tried to push a bit and take the fifth place in the overall ranking. But the important thing today was to ride fast and safely”.

Pablo Quintanella: “I finished fairly calmly”

“It was a complicated stage. There was mud and rain. I fell in the mud on one occasion. The last part of the special was very slippery. I slowed my pace and finished fairly calmly. It was slippery and dangerous. After around 430 kilometres, I saw Antoine (Meo) who had fallen. I stopped to ask him how he was. I don't know what all that will mean for the overall ranking”.

Mystery !!

Alain Duclos, twentieth in the overall ranking, has had a very bizarre setback. After a minor fall, the Frenchman removed his helmet to get up and repair his bike. When he was about to resume racing, his helmet had disappeared!!! The Sherco rider has therefore stopped at the side of the tracks after around 290 kilometres and is hoping to find a solution quickly. But what sort of solution? Without his helmet, he cannot resume racing for obvious safety reasons.

Where was the helmet ???

Stage 12 Results
1. RODRIGUES (PRT) 05:57:24
2. PRICE (AUS) +00:07:32
3. BENAVIDES (ARG) +00:07:55
4. SVITKO (SVK) +00:09:48
5. VAN BEVEREN (FRA) +00:10:28
6. QUINTANILLA (CHL) +00:15:23
7. FARRES GUELL (ESP) +00:20:04
8. MONLEON (ESP) +00:20:15
9. PAIN (FRA) +00:20:36
10. CERUTTI (ITA) +00:21:29

Overall Standings After Stage 12 of 13
1. PRICE (AUS) - 46:13:26
2. SVITKO (SVK) +00:37:39
3. QUINTANILLA (CHL) +00:53:10
4. RODRIGUES (PRT) +00:54:29
5. BENAVIDES (ARG) +00:57:28
6. MEO (FRA) +01:14:50
7. VAN BEVEREN (FRA) +01:36:42
8. FARRES GUELL (ESP) +01:54:30
9. BRABEC (USA) +02:03:06
10. MONLEON (ESP) +03:19:13 

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