Stage 1: 5th
Following his Prologue win on Placing fifth on the stage, Price was pleased with how his race got underway.
After spotting the fallen Sam Sunderland early in the special, Price decided to aim for a solid, safe finish to the stage and the Aussie was still able to bring his KTM home inside the top five.
“Stage 1 went ok for me. I saw Sam (Sunderland) had crashed out at around kilometer 70, and it’s never good to see one of your mates go down like that. After that I just focused on my road book and made sure I didn’t make any big mistakes on the way to the finish. It’s a long race and we have a very long way to go. My goal right now is to stay safe and consistent.”
Stage 2: 5th
The 430 kilometers raced in Stage 2 were made up primarily of rocky tracks through picturesque canyons before opening out into a short section of dunes in the latter half of the route, making the already long stage even more challenging due to the focus and physical endurance required to deliver a strong result.
Again as the fifth rider to enter the stage, Price made a steady start to the timed special, taking his time to adjust to the intense terrain seen over the first few hundred kilometers.
As the stage continued, Price’s stamina and consistency paid off, with the Aussie moving up as high as second place on time after 300 kilometers.
Easing off slightly to ensure a safe finish, the two-time Dakar champion placed fifth at the line, just over two minutes down on the leader.
“That was a tough stage today. The organizers led us through a load of river beds and rocks pretty much the whole way. It’s definitely not easy, and to make it safely to the finish you really have to take things a little steadier and focus on staying smooth. The projected time was around four hours, but it’s taken us close to five and a half to get to the finish. Other than that, I’m happy with how I rode, I’m here in one piece and ready to fight again tomorrow.”
Stage 3: 6th
Coming in at an exhausting 669 kilometers, stage three of the Dakar Rally was the longest of the 2023 event so far, navigating accurately through the grueling timed special that challenged competitors with a mix of gravel tracks through deep canyons, and open sandy sections, damp from overnight rain.
Price once again showed his experience on stage three by sticking to a fast but calculated pace.
With the stage being as long and tiring as it was, a mistake could easily have a huge impact on an overall result, and as such Toby’s solid ride to sixth now sets him up nicely to attack Wednesday’s stage four.
“The weather today has been quite cold and overcast, so that makes a change here at the Dakar. The stage went well for me today. I kept my head down, pushed where I could, and tried to keep a good pace for the whole day. I dropped down the order a little bit today, but that’s just the nature of the race. It’s only day three, so we’ve still got a long way to go yet.”