Toby Price was looking well set to battle for Dakar victory this year with two stage successes already in the bag. The Australian, who was in second place in the general standings at the start of the day, set off at a lightning pace over the first portion of the special. Trailing the leader by 24’’ after 121 km, he then crashed around the 155 km point.
His team-mate Sam Sunderland and defending champ Ricky Brabec stopped to come to his aid as he awaited the medical team and then Price was airlifted to hospital in Tabuk where he was diagnosed with a fractured collar bone. As a result, the two-time winner of the Dakar was forced to exit the race prematurely. Before today, it had only happened to him once in his six previous participations in the rally. Apart from these withdrawals, Price has always finished on the final podium, so today sees one of the leading pretenders to the crown bid goodbye to this year’s adventure.
Price’s misfortune meant that Honda’s Jose Ignacio Cornejo takes a major step towards overall victory with an 11m24s lead in the standings, after finishing second today some 1m34s behind Benavides. Benavides notched up his second stage victory of the 2021 edition as the lead pair finished 13 minutes clear of the opposition today.
Leaderboard After Stage 9
|1||Jose Ignacio Cornejo||Honda||36h51m00s|
|9||Adrian van Beveren||Yamaha||1h02m48s|