Nov 17, 2018

Dakar 2018: Has The Stage 12 Cancellation Made It Impossible For Toby Price?

Toby Price Dakar 2018 Stage 10
How hard will Toby Price push in Stage 13?

With Stage 12 of the 2018 Dakar cancelled yesterday for bikes and quads, and only 2 stages now remaining, what are the best options left for Toby Price?


  • STAGE 12: Fiambalá / Chilecito / San Juan
  • Cancelled due to poor conditions
Valle de la Luna, Argentina
Valle de la Luna (Spanish for Valley of the Moon), Argentina

Stage 12 was cancelled due to unfavourable weather forecasts, and that has saved the riders from a gruelling and potentially risky 523km special. But it has also limited the time available for Toby Price to chase down leader and fellow Red Bull KTM rider Matthias Walkner.

Going into tonight’s 13th stage, Walkner holds a 32 minute lead over Kevin Benavides (Honda) and Price is a further 7 min 17 sec behind in 3rd.

Although the general standings seem to be tipped in favour of Matthias Walkner, anything can still happen on the way to Cordoba.

One thing is for sure – Kevin Benavides and Toby Price will be on the attack!

These two riders will be racing each other to maintain their current positions – Toby will be wanting to close the gap to Benavides and at least claim 2nd position. Benavides will want no part of that.

And then both riders will be wanting to be in a position to challenge for the overall win should Walkner have any issues or make any mistakes.

That brings about a lot of questions regarding strategy.

  • Should Toby Price play it safe and hopefully guarantee a podium? Not likely, this is Toby Price we’re talking about.
  • Should he go all out and try to make up time – well that didn’t work well for him last year!
  • Do we hope that Matthias Walkner has some sort of problem? Well that’s not very sportsman-like is it!

Only 86 bikes remain from the original field of 139. The attrition rate has been high and many of the leading contenders have fallen, so how much of a risk is Toby Price willing to take today?

Tomorrow’s stage is very short and there won’t be much chance to make up time!

As this story is published Toby is leading the bikes out, opening the road as they say.

Just 3 minutes behind him is Kevin Benavides, and Matthias Walkner has left 9 minutes behind him. Both Benavides and Walkner have the advantage of being able to follow Toby’s tracks.

Whatever happens tonight (Australian time) will certainly shape the final day in Cordoba, and possibly the outcome of the 2018 Dakar.

Good luck Toby.


Top 5 after Stage 12 (unchanged due to stage cancellation)

  • 1. Matthias Walkner (Red Bull KTM Factory Team)
  • 2. Kevin Benavides (Monster Energy Honda Team) – 00:32:00
  • 3. Toby Price (Red Bull KTM Factory Team) – 00:39:17
  • 4. Gerard Farres Guell (Himoinsa Racing Team) – 00:49:17
  • 5. Antoine Meo (Red Bull KTM Factory Team) – 00:59:05

Australians

  • 3. Toby Price (Red Bull KTM Factory Team) – 00:39:17
  • 18. Rodney Faggotter (Yamalube Yamaha Official Rally Team) – 03:21:14
  • 61. Scott Britnell (KTM) – 20:33:33

Want to know more about these riders and drivers? Check out our competitor profiles: