Dakar: Heroic victory for Toby Price in the bike race and Nasser Al-Attiyah with his third title in the car category

Dakar: Heroic victory for Toby Price in the bike race and Nasser Al-Attiyah with his third title in the car category

Peru welcomed the 41st edition of the Dakar that finished today in Lima after 10 punishing stages, the outcome of which was victory for a heroic Toby Price in the bike race, Nasser Al-Attiyah with his third title in the car category thanks to his exemplary strategic poise, Nicolás Cavigliassoun precedentedly dominating the quad category, Francisco “Chaleco” López succeeding in his comeback and conversion after six years of absence with a win in the SxS race and Eduard Nikolaev picking up his fourth title in the truck race.

Beyond the winners, 179 riders, drivers and crews (75 bikes, 15 quads, 76 cars, 20 SxS and 13 trucks) reached Lima to enjoy a podium ceremony at the end of the day on Magdalena beach, where it all started.

Bikes

What a fine story was told thanks to the monstrous determination and bravery shown by Toby Price. Taking part in his fifth Dakar with a wrist that was still sore after fracturing his scaphoid bone several weeks before the start, the Australian grinned and bore it, focusing on consistency rather than the verve that his rivals showed, as they picked up stage victories. Gritting his teeth day after day to stay in contact with the best, the winner in 2016 finally took the lead in the general standings the day before the finish and offered spectators a genuine recital with a stage victory in Lima. This allows him to write a second Dakar rally on his role of honour and an 18th in a row for his employer KTM. Indeed, for the Austrian firm, this was an especially satisfying triumph with its three official riders on the podium in Peru. Matthias Walkner, the title holder, took second place, while Sam Sunderland, the winner in 2017, rounded off a podium that again sees Honda absent. Yet, Joan Barreda had offered high hopes to HRC with a superb start to the rally before coming undone, while Ricky Brabec was surprisingly comfortable for 8 stages… until the engine on his Honda broke. It was a cruel disappointment for the American one year after having suffered the same fate, similar to the misfortune that rained down on Adrien Van Beveren, whose Yamaha also gave in on him so near to the finish. In the end, it was Pablo Quintanilla who resisted the KTM clan for the longest amount of time, before his hopes collapsed due to a fall on the last stage of this uncompromising Dakar…

On completion of the ten stages, three of which he won, the Qatari driver also won the Dakar for the third time – Photo Florent Gooden / DPPI

Cars

One single duo managed to avoid all the pitfalls, find the balance between performance and driving safely and grasp all the subtleties of the navigation to which they were subjected. It was the crew made up of Nasser Al-Attiyah behind the wheel and Mathieu Baumel as co-pilot. On completion of the ten stages, three of which he won, the Qatari driver also won the Dakar for the third time, thanks to a carefully crafted scenario and a superb understanding of strategy. One by one, the “Prince of the desert” distanced his direct rivals, striking a big blow on his adversaries on the Super Ica stage (stage 8), where he took care to start a considerable distance behind his rivals. Always in control, the boss of the race observed his pursuers do battle in the dunes, whether it was Stéphane Peterhansel, Sébastien Loeb or Nani Roma, before setting the historical record straight in Lima. Toyota, the constructor which has most probably entered the largest number of vehicles in the history of the Dakar, won the car category for the first time to reward the efforts of Team Overdrive, which had previously been prevented from reaching the top step on the podium by the Peugeots or the Minis, firstly with Giniel de Villiers or also last year with Al-Attiyah. As for the X-Raid team, in the end, the 4×4 Mini achieved the firm’s best results, with Nani Roma in 2nd position and Jakub Przygonski again stepping up a notch in the hierarchy by climbing to 4th place. The challenge to win for Sébastien Loeb genuinely seemed possible in light of the gaps that he was capable of opening up when everything was running smoothly. However, navigational mistakes and mechanical problems put paid to his hopes for victory. He finished the rally with four extra stage wins on his roll of honour and another place on the final podium (3rd).

 

Side by Side

A battle well and truly took place in the Side by Side category, which swelled threefold in number in 2019 (with 30 crews at the start), thanks to the arrival of prestigious competitors, such as former biker Francisco López, who had previously failed to conquer the title on two wheels (3rd in 2010 and in 2013) but did not let the chance slip through his fingers for his first participation in the SxS category. After a discrete start to the rally, “Chaleco” put on an imperial display ahead of title holder Reinaldo Varela and former biker Gerard Farrés (3rd in 2017), while Sergey Karyakin, Casey Currie or Ignacio Casale had already lost a lot of ground. The most successful comeback kid on the Dakar 2019, with three stage victories to add to his already impressive roll of honour (11 specials on a bike),“Chaleco” nailed Chile’s colours even further on to the mast of the rally, with a triumph that follows on from countryman IgnacioCasale’s two successes in the quad race (in 2014 and 2018).

 

Quads

The race was soon dominated by Argentinean Nicolás Gavigliasso. It would be euphemistic to say that the rider from Córdoba sailed through this edition of the Dakar because he quite simply won nine out of ten stages on the 2019 edition, an unprecedented feat in the history of the most famous rally-raid, for all of the categories put together. What’s more, at the age of 27 years old, the Yamaha rider was only taking part in his second Dakar this year. “It wasn’t easy,” declared Nico at the finish to the last stage. “I worked hard before this Dakar. It’s only my second Dakar, but I kept pushing, I wanted to finish in front. Now I’m number one in the quad race and I’m so, so happy”. Jeremías González Ferioli, second in the general standings 1 hour 55 minutes behind the winner, was Cavigliasso’ssole rival who managed to win a special, on the third stage. Taking part in his fourth Dakar, the young 23-year old rider from Córdoba was not able to put his countryman under pressure. Behind the two Argentineans, Frenchman Alexandre Giroud finished on the third step of the podium.

500 NIKOLAEV Eduard (rus); IAKOVLEV Evgenii (rus); RYBAKOV Vladimir (rus); Kamaz; Kamaz – Master; Truck; Camion; podium during the Dakar 2019; Stage 10; Pisco – Lima; peru; on january 17 – Photo Eric Vargiolu / DPPI

Trucks

Starting like a canon ball with two stage victories to commence his defence of the title on the Dakar, in the end Eduard Nikoalev had somewhat of a fright. Although it was thought that the Kamaz driver would again be untouchable, the Russian was put under serious pressure by his rivals, in particular his team-mates Andrey Karginov and Dmitry Sotnikov, to such an extent that he lost the lead of the rally to Sotnikov two days from the finish. However, the three-time winner of the event finally reacted flawlessly with a splendid victory on stage 9 to regain the lead and drive his truck onto the highest step of the podium in Lima, for the fourth time. Sotnikov will therefore have to wait another year to hope to obtain his holy grail, a success which Gerard de Rooy, on the third step of the podium, has tasted twice. The Iveco driver was expected to be the main rival of the Kamaz team, but finally he was never a genuine threat.

Toby Price: “The pain and torture has been worth it”

“It’s very crazy to sit here and say that we won the Dakar rally with no stage victories until today. It’s really crazy. I’m over the moon, I’m so damned stoked. It’s been a long 10 days. Now I’ll just wait and see what damage I’ve done to my wrist. At the end of the day, the pain and torture has been worth it. I thought I would only be able to do two stages and then pull out and that would have been me done, but the support from everyone back home in Australia and then having some things go my way and a bit of luck, it just worked out in the end. It’s been an unreal rally. [On the pain] Pretty much all I can say is that it feels like there are about five people driving a knife in my wrist now. It’s not very comfortable, it’s not very enjoyable, but at the end of the day the victory has paid off. I’ll forget about the pain now, that’s for sure. The win takes away all the pain. For sure, if it wasn’t for this victory it wouldn’t have been as sweet, but at the end of the day I was just happy to make the finishing line. I didn’t think I was even going to be able to do that. I’m not the new boss of the rally, that’s for sure. There are so many guys that can win this race and we had strong competitors like Pablo and Ricky Brabec, Sam Sunderland, Matthias Walkner… everyone is strong. You can never count anybody out. Kevin Benavides did a great job and at the end of the day we all fight to the finish line and it’s been a hard rally. I just don’t like giving up, I don’t like quitting, that’s for sure. That’s about it. I love being out on my bike and I love riding and to be here with all the Dakar family and the KTM team it’s amazing. So, yeah, we’re pumped”.

Nicolas Cavigliasso;

“It wasn’t easy. I worked hard before this Dakar. I was training all day, two times a day. I trained hard with the quad, hard with the GPS. I’m so happy to finish, so happy with the feeling I had on my quad, for the team, for the people of Argentina, happy for everything. For the rally [leading so much] is new for me. Before, every year I rode in super-cross, but last year I came to the Dakar for my first timeriding and first time finishing. I finished second and now I kept pushing, I wanted to finish in front. Now I’m number one in the quad and I’m so, so happy. [For next year] Now it’s too difficult to look ahead, but I spoke with my team and they pushed me every day, every stage. That podium is for my team and my family”.

Nasser Al-Attiyah;

“It’s fantastic. No mistakes during the entire rally. It was a very, very difficult rally for everybody. The good thing was that from day three we were leading and we built on our time everyday until we came to the last day with a big, big lead. I’m really happy – thanks to Toyota, thanks to BF Goodrich tyres, all the sponsors, Qatar, Red Bull. It made everything happen right for this year. I’m happy for Toyota because it’s the first time in the history of Toyota that they won the Dakar, this is fantastic. [On being the favourite] It’s like what I always say, we respect all the other drivers. All the drivers are really very strong. Everybody wants to win the Dakar. But we felt when we came that in Peru, a 100% Peru rally, with no other country, there would be a lot of sand dunes, so we could do what we know we’re good at. We we’re leading from day three and, yeah, I’m really quite happy. [On avoiding mistakes that othersmade]This is the adventure of the rally. The rally is not easy and if you push every day, sure, you will have a problem with the car. I’m really happy to win this race with Toyota”.

Francisco “Chaleco” Lopez:

“I’m very happy, I didn’t think I was going to come back to the Dakar. It was a great Chilean team that encouraged me to take part. At the end of the day, we have won after working very hard. I really enjoyed this Dakar, with its dunes and navigational difficulties – that’s just what I like. It was very technical and you had to stay strong. The worst bit was when we had an engine problem and lost all traction. We lost a lot of time that day, but the second week was incredible: we won several stages and managed to win outright”.

Eduard Nikolaev:

“It was a very difficult race. There were a lot of dunes, a lot of sand and very strong competitors, like my team-mates, Gerard de Rooy and Federico Villagra. Thank you for the race. I’m very happy. I’m happy with my crew, they worked perfectly. There were no problems apart from a small problem when we got stuck in the dunes, but our truck is a very good truck. My co-pilot coped with the task perfectly, so I am happy.

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33 minutes ago

MotoGP

"I've beaten two legends: Rossi in Texas and Marquez today" - Alex Rins

Here his reaction after his impressive last corner win yesterday! 🏆

#BritishGP 🇬🇧
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A fantastic rider with an amazing machine!!! Congratulations Álex Rins!!!

So, MM can be beaten at his own game. Every dog has its day.

Credit where it's due, great ride. The Suzuki is where Yamaha should be.

A superb race Alex. Once more, Congratulations. You certainly deserve them. A remarkable finish and fight till the finish line. This is what Moto GP should be all about. Great job 😉

Spectacular effort, congratulations on an awesome win.

What happened to all the fans that said MotoGP is boring?

And the coverage kept showing the yamaha pit why

During the race Rin's was definitely by far the better rider💪🏼+ the bike Suzuki performed well under pressure 🔥..

ครึ่งล้อนี้จำไปนาน

EPIC EPIC EPIC RACE TO WATCH ! WELL DONE ALEX !

Love this guy so honest not like MM93

👊🏻✊🏻🏍💨💎

What an honest guy. It must feel great to defeat two of the greatest legends the MotoGP has to offer

Epic in the last corner... Bravo Alex 🏆

💙💙💙💙🏍💪🏁🏆!!!!

Masa I follow markes td,I rasa motor dia tak la laju mane pun..sebab lepas potong rossi terus I cucuk angin motor dia..hahaha

A SUZUKI 👍👍👍👍

Titles

Great race to watch. Great win by Rins.

42 golĺll

Good job Alex rin 42, anak bayi tidak ada apa2 nya😅😅

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13 hrs ago

F1

Which team has impressed you most so far in 2019? ... See Less

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I'm a Mercedes fan but have to say McLaren have done an amazing job this year considering their performance over the last few years.

I would say Williams for the most reliability and focused pit crew. They're only left to improve on pace.

Good to see that McLaren is performing well. I'm sure the team's ability to improve will be remarkable with every race from now on.

Must say McLaren, with the team spirit that they have, and results they managed to achieve... Definitely my favourites this season.

Williams have had the worst start to an F1 team in history. And I think with their tiny budget and willpower, the amount they’ve improved is impressive. They’re still far behind but I hope to see them fighting for podiums in 2021

McLaren. Consistent development and improvement over the season so far. Alfa Romeo has been somewhat of a surprise also.

Being on top is one thing but staying at the top is the art of the game. Kudos to Mercedes for getting it right so far.... #WeMakeItLookEasy

I’m super impressed with Toro Rosso, hard to believe this is the old Minardi team where both their drivers exceeded all expectations!!

I would say McLaren even though I'm team Hamilton

Redbull and Honda engineering. The aerodynamic has been sorted and the engine now also reliable. Watch that space, they could challenge for the title next year!

I think the fact that Kimi drags that 8th place car into the points is the most impressive

Ferrari fan for life, but McLaren have done an incredible job so far, considering how far back they were

McLaren (and I'm faraway from being a fan! If there was a person I didn't like in Formula 1, that person was Ron Dennis). Anyway I'm glad to see them finally getting together again and mainly without supposed big shot drivers who can't do nothing but complain! Now they need to find a good engine because with Renault it will be near impossible to go any further...

None the sport is finished and I've followed the sport since the early 80s

Mclaren, they have made a huge turn around this season. With andreas seidl at the helm, the only place they re going is up

And yet no Ferrari or anyone else 1st with the exception of RB. Hybrid era is killing with the beyond dominance of Merc being so far ahead of everyone else’s pace. Some competition would be nice! Don’t give me that bullshit of everyone should bring it to the table, there’s some crazy advantage behind the scene that you Merc fanboys don’t know about. Yawn.

Hi F1 and fans .... with all the media attention to the envirement and green thinking etc etc etc. Is there a research or developement posted in any magizine about the developemt of how clean the F1 is today. We all know that all top research of F1 is implemented in the modern cars but i like to read how clean F1 is now in 2019 .. 👍

the gap between top three teams and the rest is too much

McLaren is the most impressive.. Mercedes just has luck week after week.. Hoping Ferrari will get their things together for the second half..

Haas, they have surprised me on how bad they are this year. Compared to last year this year has been terrible. They were fighting Renault for top of the mid pack, this year they are fighting for points at all.

Red Bull / HONDA‼️ Young Max may be awesome, but so is the way Red Bull has adapted to Honda’s engine. The last 2 years of griping about the Renault power plant is (almost) justified...

It would be nice to see Mclaren back up there permanently fighting for the title. Always was a fan

Quite a gap between 3rd and 4th also between 10th and racing cars.

Williams been sandbagging the first half of the season just to give the others a glimp of hope, beast mode on in second half of the season

Mclaren And Williams 0 dnf not so many points but reliability is very good

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18 hrs ago

F1

The crash 💥 The surprise 😱 The battle ⚔️

Spa treated us to a scintillating race last season ⚡️
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I can't wait for next weekend. Spa always produces some awesome action

That Vettel move was such a good sign and made so much hope for the title in 2018, but then horror began and continued until today 😞 I hope that Vettel will win at least one of the next two races, maybe the last chances this year

The circuit spa is amazing..

Leclerc was lucky with the halo there. Things could have ended very badly.. Also, the 4 car moment at the end of the first sector was amazing👌

I was there with my sons. Last years

Counting the days and hours for the arrival of the weekend. It is impressive, the spectacles provided in this SPA GP!

I remember this race.The best thing was Ocon almost overtook Vettal overtaking Hamilton. Ocon has to sit in the Mercedes at some point in the future.

What a race! Hoping for the same again next week 👍

Was that the very last time Vettel won a race? Wow an entire year has gone by.

Going to be interesting this year, couple nice long almost straights that Ferrari can hopefully lay down the power, those midrange corners that Red Bull look so comfortable going through at high speed, than the tighter sections that Mercedes just seems to find seconds on other cars, needless to say either Ferrari or Red Bull let the Mercedes go and that’s race over, but Charles or Max get in front of Lewis it’s going to be a great race

I have a feeling that the Ferraris will do it again. We will not hear the name verstappen so much this weekend.

Lets see next week if merc and redbull will match the straigth line speed of ferrari. Cant wait the qualifying and race on sunday.

Was a good race, hoping this yr will be just as good

I wanna know what LeClerc's thoughts process was as a McLaren flies over the top of him 😂

Clamoroso come Charlie Whiting aspettò che Vettel superasse Hamilton per dare il via alla Safety Car

Beyoncé would be proud of the Halo!

So the halo works。。👍🏼👍🏼

People cry about the halo but Charles had luck to have it.

What an overtake from Ferrari that was ...I missed the 2018's Ferrari ....not this SP90

This Race showed why the Halo Makes completly sense. Leclercs carrer could have Ended Right there

That's also why "even" Perez is a better racer than Ocon. My opinion. Look at the drag race after Eau Rouge coming up to Le Combes

Waited until Seb past Hamilton to safety car the race...who remembers this🤦🏾‍♂️🤔

Was there watching sat in the stadium right on that corner, exciting stuff!

Only one week to go, before lights out!

According to the Finnish media, Mercedes is gonna announce Bottas staying for 1 more year.

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