Dakar Bikes, Stage 11: Price closes on victory, Goncalves crashes out

Toby Price took another step towards Dakar Rally victory after stretching his lead on Thursday, as Antoine Meo scored a second win and Paulo Goncalves crashed out.

Trailing factory KTM teammate Meo at the first two waypoints, rally leader Price took control of the 431km La Rioja-San Juan stage at WP3, establishing a lead of nearly two minutes at the halfway point.

However, Meo fought back in the latter half, pipping Price by a mere 18 seconds at the finish to bag his second stage win of the rally in his maiden Dakar appearance.

Price nonetheless enjoys a healthy advantage of 35m23s over nearest rival Stefan Svitko (KTM) - who was seventh for the day - in the overall standings with only two stages remaining.

Husqvarna's Pablo Quintanilla was third on the stage, 2m48s slower than Meo, and was followed by the Yamaha duo of Helder Rodrigues and Adrien van Beveren.

Quintanilla slipped to fourth overall behind Meo, sitting less than two minutes behind the Frenchman in the battle for the final podium place, ahead of Kevin Benavides (Honda) and Rodrigues.

After two troubled days for Goncalves, which resulted in him falling from second to eighth in the standings, the factory Honda rider's rally came to abrupt end when he suffered a crash 118km into the stage.

The Portuguese was then reportedly found unconscious and airlifted to hospital, although the nature and extent of his injuries are unknown as of the time of writing.

Only 14 riders made it to the end of the stage before it was suspended for bikes and quads due to extreme heat, meaning the rest were awarded a nominal time - though this didn't affect the top nine positions overall.

Standings after Stage 11:



1 3

 Toby Price


2 5

 Stefan Svitko


3 49

Antoine Meo


4 4

 Pablo Quintanilla


5 47

 Kevin Benavides


6 7

 Helder Rodrigues


7 42

Adrian van Beveren

Yamaha 1h33m46s
8 48

Ricky Brabec

Honda 1h39m55s
9 23  Gerard Farres KTM 1h42m16s
10 45 Armand Monleon Honda 3h09m44s


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About this article
Series Dakar
Event Dakar 2016
Sub-event Stage 11: La Rioja - San Juan
Article type Stage report
Tags bike