Stage 7: 3rd
Stage 7 was cancelled due to extreme weather conditions.
Stage 8: 17th
Catching the two riders ahead of him by around kilometer 150, Price assisted in opening the tricky-to-navigate stage eight.
Although Price accumulated one minute and 47 seconds in bonuses, an unfortunate one-minute penalty reduced the time gained. Happy to safely complete the stage, and now looking forward to the rest day and the remaining six stages, Price is happy to be lying fourth overall.
“I’m definitely looking forward to the rest day now – time to relax and get sorted for the second week of racing. I lost a little time today riding up near the front, but my overall position is still decent. In the leading group today we were leaving perfect tracks for the guys behind to follow, so it was inevitable that we would lose some minutes. The rocks were super-slippery, too, which meant it was best just to ease off a little rather than risk a crash. A bit of care now can pay off a lot by the end of the race."
Stage 9: 2nd
Fresh from his rest day, Price headed into the 686-kilometer stage looking to secure strong results on the long, 358-kilometer timed special.
With the first half of the stage made up of riverbeds and canyons, navigating cleanly proved difficult for a lot of riders.
The second half of the special opened into a wide expanse of dunes on the way to the bivouac at Haradh and Price put in an excellent ride that saw him finish the stage as runner-up.
Coming in just over one minute behind the winner, Price’s performance saw him move up to second overall in the provisional standings, just three seconds back.
“It’s been a good day for me. It looks like the boys in front got lost just before the refuel. I navigated through there really good, so that meant I was able to make up some minutes. I just tried to push on a bit today, I was trying really hard to keep up a fast pace but not make any big mistakes. All in all, I felt really good today, it’s nice to feel fresh after the rest day. It looks like tomorrow will be mostly all sand, so we’ll try our best there and see where we end up.”