Yamalube Yamaha Rally rider Rodney Faggotter has been forced out of the 2019 Dakar Rally, after a problem on the final leg of today's third stage.
Details are limited, but according to his Yamaha team "a technical issue after the last waypoint" left the man from Longreach, who top-scored for the Blu Cru in last year's Dakar, with no chance of finishing the stage. Or the event.
At 331 kilometres in length, the timed special on day three was always going to be demanding. Starting at sea level and climbing to an altitude of over 2,000 metres, the stage tested the riders to their limits. Not only was the mixture of sand dunes and river beds physically tiring for competitors, tricky navigation and fog encountered on the highest sections of the stage also made the day mentally exhausting.
Again opting to keep his powder dry rather than go for gold just yet, KTM 450 Rally-mounted Toby Price placed ninth at the end of the stage. Continuing to ride at a good and consistent pace, the Australian now sits fifth overall in the provisional overall standings, 15 minutes down on race leader Pablo Quintanilla.
Toby Price: “I think it was more about survival than racing today. It was a really tough stage but I got through it and I’m feeling good and that’s what matters. I got lost early on and that cost me some time to the front runners. Then at about the 130-kilometre mark there was a lot of fog in the mountains. The road book didn’t have too many details and there were a few cliffs you could have dropped off. Luckily, I missed them. I’m still trying to hang on and get to the end of each stage but overall things are good.”
The two-day long marathon stage that takes competitors directly to the rest day kicks off tomorrow in Peru. Featuring a 405km timed special, stage four of the Dakar will bring all riders to the overnight marathon bivouac in Moquegua.
Provisional Results Stage Three – 2019 Dakar Rally
1. Xavier de Soultrait (FRA), Yamaha, 4:07:42
2. Pablo Quintanilla (CHI), Husqvarna, 4:05:57 +0:15
3. Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, 4:10:19 +2:37
4. Adrien van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 4:14:24 +6:42
5. Sam Sunderland (GBR), KTM, 4:16:08 +8:26
9. Toby Price (AUT), KTM, 4:21:58 +14:16
Provisional Standings after Stage Three – 2019 Dakar Rally
1. Pablo Quintanilla (CHI), Husqvarna, 8:34:28
2. Kevin Benavides (ARG), Honda, 8:45:51 +11:23
3. Sam Sunderland (GBR), KTM, 8:46:40 +12:12
4. Adrien van Beveren (FRA), Yamaha, 8:47:57 +13:29
5. Toby Price (AUT), KTM, 8:49:45 +15:17