3 years ago, a 25 year old Toby Price was in America, recovering from 3 broken vertebrae in his neck after a horrific crash. A young rider who, after beginning his racing career at the age of 4, now had a potentially incredible career laid out in ruins in front of him. In a true testament to Aussie spirit though, Price worked, and worked, and worked.
Through extensive and punishing rehabilitation, Price never gave up on his true calling and yesterday he rose to the top of the podium as the winner of the motorcycle class of the 2016 Dakar rally. Providing a truly dominant display and winning 5 stages along the way, the Sydney-sider took out the rally over 40 minutes ahead of his nearest rival overall.
Price’s victory is not only the first ever Dakar rally win by an Australian in ANY class, but also the first ever by a competitor attempting the rally on his second go. In a rally that saw many records broken, bike manufacturer KTM also enjoyed their 15th consecutive Dakar victory.
2016’s Dakar Rally will truly go down as one of the all time historic rallies, as Frenchman Stephane Peterhansel won a record 12th Dakar Rally after finishing 1st in the car class. His victory is his 6th in a car, following 6 wins in the motorcycle class, and also the first Dakar win for Peugeot since 1990.
The car class looked as if it would have been much closer, with Sebastien Loeb and Carlos Sainz both within touching distance of first place at the beginning of the week. Both encountered dramas however, and Peterhansel cruised to victory on the final day with a gap of 35 minutes over the Mini of Nasser Al-Attiyah.
Making up the other classes, Argentine Marcos Petronelli won the quad-bike class, while The Netherlands’ Gerrard De Rooy finished first overall in the Truck class, incidentally recording the fastest overall completion time of the entire rally.
Featured Image: tp87.com.au