Toby Price crashed hard 150 kilometers into Stage 9 of the Dakar Rally and was airlifted to a local hospital Tuesday. The crash and retirement came a day after his dramatic finish to Stage 8, which saw him limp home in second with a severely gashed tire that was held together by duct tape and zip lines.
The second-place finish on Monday put Price on course early. He was gaining on leader Nacho Cornejo and running third at the most recent checkpoint before his crash. Ricky Brabec and Sam Sunderland each stopped to render assistance. Brabec gave up 22 minutes with the charitable act. Sunderland lost 16 minutes.
At the start of Stage 9, Price was second in the overall ranking behind Jose Florimo.
HOW TO WATCH ON NBCSN: Information, schedules for the Dakar Rally
It was the second retirement in as many days for winning contenders. Xavier de Soultrait withdrew after crashing midway through Stage 8. Race officials said de Soultrait was airlifted to a hospital for X-rays but didn’t lose consciousness in the wreck.
Brabec was originally credited with ninth in the stage, but after the lost time was credited, he climbed to second behind Kevin Benavides. Florimo finished third, with Sunderland elevated to fourth after his time was also corrected.
“Rough day out in the books today,” Brabec said on Instagram. “Came up on the legend Toby Price down and out of it so that put a gut wrenching feeling in the program.”
A ‘rough day’ was also how Sunderland characterized the stage.
“Rough day; started off so nice along the sea but at kilometer 155 or so I found my mate Toby Price crashed and in some pain,” Sunderland posted. “I tried to help until the helicopter arrived and then got going again.
“Managed to get into a good rhythm and then at kilometer 260 hit a rock and crashed pretty heavy and damaged my Roadbook and GPS so had to wait for some other guys to follow. With no Roadbook info it made for a scary day. Glad it is behind me and ready to fight until the end of this one!”
Benavides was able to shave 1 minute, 18 seconds off Florimo’s lead, which now stands at 11 minutes and 24 seconds.
Sunderland (14 minutes, 34 seconds behind) is in third with Brabec (17 minutes, 26 seconds) is fourth.
Skyler Howes finished ninth for the second consecutive stage and remains seventh overall. It was a tough stage for the American privateer, who lost more than 20 minutes to the leader and is now 40 minutes, 25 seconds behind.
In other divisions Tuesday:
Cars: With consistency, Stephane Peterhansel has led the overall rankings since Stage 2, but he had yet to win a stage in the 2021 Dakar Rally. That ended Tuesday as he beat Nasser Al-Attiyah, to the line by 12 minutes.
It took three tire punctures to slow Al-Attiyah, however.
“The navigation was no problem, but we had three flat tires, three punctures and we didn’t have any spare wheels, so we decided to just to get to the finish and Stephane passed us,” Al-Attiyah said. “It was not easy for us today. But what can we do? We can’t change anything with the tires. That’s life, I’m not disappointed. What can I do? I have done my best and I’m here at the finishing line. Still, everything is possible.”
Carlos Sainz is a distant third in the overall with a deficit of 1 hour, 2 minutes, and 25 seconds. Sainz finished 12th in Stage 9 and lost 22 minutes, 30 seconds.
Side by side UTVs (SSV)/lightweight/light prototypes: Finishing 10th in Stage 9, Austin Jones could not hold the overall lead he took on Monday as Francisco Contardo won the stage by 11 minutes, 34 seconds over Khalifa Al-Attiyah.
Jones finished 33 minutes, 16 seconds behind the leader and fell to second in the overall standings behind Contardo.
Aron Domzala had another difficult stage and lost an additional 27 minutes, 23 seconds. He remains third in the overall standings.
Quads: Giovanni Enrico earned his first stage win of 2021 and beat Alexandre Giroud to the line by 1 minute, 30 seconds. Manuel Andujar also kept the leaders in sight and finished just 15 seconds behind Giroud.
With his third-place result in Stage 9, Andujar retains the overall lead over Giroud by 19 minutes, 28 seconds.
Trucks: Martin Macik broke the stranglehold of Kamaz in Stage 9. He scored his first stage win by 2 minutes, 27 seconds over Airat Mardeev. Dmitry Sotnikov finished 10 seconds further back in third and retains his overall lead.
STAGE 1 RESULTS: Carlos Sainz, Toby Price open with victories
STAGE 5: Kevin Benavides new leader in bikes
Cars: Nasser Al-Attiyah 4 (Stages 2, 3, 4, 8); Carlos Sainz 2 (Stage 1, 6); Giniel de Villiers (Stage 5); Yazeed Al Rajhi (Stage 7); Stephane Peterhansel (Stage 9)
Bikes: Joan Barreda 3 (Stage 2, 4, 6); Toby Price 2 (Stages 1, 3); Kevin Benavides 2 (Stage 5, 9); Ricky Brabec (Stage 7); Jose Ignacio Cornejo Florimo (Stage 8)
Side-by-sides: Francisco Lopez Contardo 5 (Stage 3, 5, 7, 8, 9); Austin Jones (Stage 1); Saleh Alsaif (Stage 2); Aron Domzala (Stage 4); Khalifa Al Attiyah (Stage 6)
Lightweight prototypes: Seth Quintero 5 (Stage 2, 3, 5, 6, 8); Cristina Gutierrez Herrero 3 (Stage 1, 7, 9); Kris Meeke (Stage 4)
Quads: Alexandre Giroud 3 (Stage 1, 6, 8); Nicolas Cavigliasso 2 (Stage 3, 5); Manuel Andujar 2 (Stage 4, 7); Pablo Copetti (Stage 2); Giovanni Enrico (Stage 9)
Trucks: Dmitry Sotnikov 4 (Stage 1, 2, 4, 7); Siarhei Viazovich (Stage 3); Andrey Karginov (Stage 5); Airat Mardeev (Stage 6); Anton Shibalov (Stage 8); Martin Macik (Stage 9)