Marking the second half of the rally’s marathon stage, the 709km day eight offered no respite for the riders. Leaving the temporary bivouac at Sakaka behind and heading west, a 226km liaison led riders to the start of the 375km timed special. Comprising a challenging mix of sandy tracks followed by difficult to navigate stony pistes, the stage to Neom would test all riders’ skill and endurance on the second of two incredibly tough days in the desert.

Toby Price: “I lost a little more time to the rally leader, but I’m just glad I got to the finish line.”

Toby Price endured a mixed first leg of the marathon stage. The Australian led till well over the halfway point when unfortunately a rock sliced open his rear tire, forcing him to ease his pace to the finish. Not able to change or swap the damaged item due to the marathon stage rules, Price carried out a makeshift repair last night before today taking on the 709km stage eight. Riding cautiously, Toby successfully completed the stage in an incredible second place. Testament to the quality of the tire, and the repair made by the Australian, Price remains well in the hunt for the podium, lying second overall in the provisional standings.

Toby Price: “It’s been a really tough couple of days for me. I damaged my tire yesterday and of course, not being allowed to change it, I had to repair it as best I could for today and hope it held up. I rode a good stage, but all the while I was trying to be as smooth as possible – not accelerate too hard in case the issue got worse. Second on the day is not bad at all, I lost a little more time to the rally leader, but I’m just glad I got to the finish line.”

STORY: Tough Day For KTM On Dakar Stage Nine (January 2021)
STORY: KTM-Pilot Toby Price @ Dakar: “Seven days done now, but still a fair few to go.” (January 2021)


photos (c) Rally Zone