Bike class leader Toby Price reckons category honours may be decided by a matter of seconds at the end of the 2016 Dakar Rally.
The Australian re-took the bike lead on Monday's 393 kilometre stage, turning a three-minute deficit to Paulo Goncalves into a two-minute advantage thanks to an impressive ride across the dunes.
But Price says there’s still plenty to play out, predicting that the battle between the two will go down to the wire.
“With Paulo, me and him are battling,” said Price.
“It's pretty much day-for-day. We take time off each other and I think it's going to come down to minutes and seconds by the end of the week.
“He's a real strong competitor and he's got a lot more navigation skills than what I do, but we're trying our best and keeping ourselves in front as much as we can.
“It is a little bit stressful, but once you throw your leg over the bike and you get going, we just have to make sure we make all the right calls and be confident with what we decide to do.”
Price relishing navigation challenge
According to Price, it was the move to more traditional technical Dakar roads in the latter part of the day that helped him streak back into the lead.
“The first part started out with nice big open roads, [I] dropped a little bit of time there but it’s a pretty fast track,” he said.
“I was looking forward to the second part where it’s more technical and more difficult, [and it] suited me pretty well with the sand dunes there. I did some doubles and triples which makes it pretty fun.
“[The] last few days I’ve done well with navigation so I’m feeling more confident, but in saying that there’s guys that have raced Dakar for ten years that have made mistakes so we will wait and see.
“We pushed through and navigated well, which felt good. Everything at the moment feels really good.”