Stage nine of the rally saw another motocross style mass-start with riders setting off in waves of 10, determined by their finishing positions from the previous day’s stage. Heading into the dunes for the 313-kilometre timed special, the first group of riders stuck together for the majority of the stage. Although it was in fact two riders from the second group who took the honours today, the top riders in the overall crossed the line just seconds apart.
With no real advantage gained on today’s stage, Toby Price successfully defended his lead in the rally’s overall standings. Just over one-minute separates Price and nearest competitor Pablo Quintanilla and the two rivals now head into tomorrow’s short final stage where they are expected to battle for the overall win of the rally.
Toby Price: “I got through stage nine today where we had the mass-start. There was no chance to make up any time or lose time really, I just had to stick with the group. Tomorrow is only a 100-kilometre stage, but I think it’s going to feel more like 300. The boys are really going to up their pace and all I can do is try my best once more and try to stay with them. If I can get through tomorrow and finish on the podium, I’ll be more than happy.”
Stage 10, the final of the 2019 Dakar Rally will see competitors return to the host city of Lima, Peru. Covering a total of 359 kilometres, riders will face a short and intense 112-kilometre timed special.
Provisional Results Stage Nine – 2019 Dakar Rally
1. Michael Metge (FRA), Sherco, 3:46:38
2. Daniel Nosiglia (BOL), Honda, 3:48:38 +2:00
3. Pablo Quintanilla (CHL), Husqvarna, 3:50:06 +3:28
4. Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, 3:50:07 +3:29
5. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 3:50:07 +3:29
Provisional Standings after Stage Nine:
1. Toby Price (AUS), KTM, 32:43:15
2. Pablo Quintanilla (CHL), Husqvarna, 32:44:17 +1:02
3. Matthias Walkner (AUT), KTM, 32:49:50 +6:35
4. Andrew Short (USA), Husqvarna, 33:23:16 +40:01
5. Xavier de Soultrait (FRA), Yamaha, 33:30:59 +47:44