Dakar 2018, Stage 10: Walkner takes shock lead as rivals crumble

Matthias Walkner has become the favourite to win the 2018 Dakar Rally in the bike class after topping Stage 10, which saw Adrien van Beveren crash and four other contenders for overall victory get badly lost.

While the day started with six riders within less than 10 minutes of the overall leader, Walkner now holds a 39m42s advantage.

The KTM rider had a quiet start to the day and was nearly seven minutes behind leader Kevin Benavides at the mid-session break.

However, as the field restarted for the second part of the 373km stage, almost all of the frontrunners got lost.

Benavides, Toby Price, Joan Barreda and Antoine Meo all gave up huge amounts of time, with only van Beveren and Walkner managing to navigate their way through the stage.

The Frenchman was in prime position to end the day in the overall lead only to suffer a crash three kilometres from the finish.

The Yamaha rider was diagnosed with a broken right collarbone as well as thorax and spine injuries and was unable to complete the stage.

Husqvarna's Pablo Quintanilla and KTM privateer Gerard Farres were closest to Walkner, 11 and 16 minutes off the pace, and the latter has jumped into fourth place overall.

Honda's Barreda holds second, just two minutes ahead of teammate Benavides.

KTM duo Price and Meo are fifth and sixth, the latter losing the most time among the frontrunners as he was more than an hour slower than Walkner.

Rookie Cavigliasso grabs second quad win

Dakar debutant Nicolas Cavigliasso collected his second victory in the quad class and closed in on the runner-up spot in the overall order.

He is only 1m53s behind fellow Argentinian Jeremias Gonzalez, who was closest to him on the stage.

Ignaco Casale maintained his dominant lead by taking third - the Chilean's advantage is 1h41m with four stages to go.

Standings after Stage 10 (Top 10, Bike class)

Pos. Rider Bike Time/Gap
1  Matthias Walkner KTM 32h21m03s
2  Joan Barreda Honda 39m42s
3  Kevin Benavides Honda 41m23s
4  Gerard Farres KTM 47m46s
5  Toby Price KTM 50m18s
6  Antoine Meo KTM 1h03m35s
7  Ricky Brabec Honda 1h21m37s
8  Stefan Svitko KTM 1h25m09s
9  Pablo Quintanilla Husqvarna 1h30m24s
10  Johnny Aubert Gas Gas 1h40m57s
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About this article
Series Dakar
Event Dakar
Sub-event Stage 10: Salta - Bélen
Drivers Matthias Walkner
Teams Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
Article type Stage report