The trick that helped injured Price conquer Dakar
It took a makeshift device – that held his KTM's throttle open on liaison stages – to get an injured Toby Price through to a remarkable second Dakar victory.
Price went into the event under a serious injury cloud after breaking his right scaphoid during pre-Dakar training last December, undergoing last-minute surgery in Spain and a short recovery in his native Australia – not enough for the injury to heal – before getting to Peru.
Dealing with unrelenting pain from the injured wrist, Price has now revealed the lengths he went to in getting to the finish.
While having to "grit the teeth" through the competitive stages, some crafty modifications using parts from the KTM's battery cage helped stick his bike's throttle open on liaison stages, offering crucial periods of rest for his wrist.
He was also forced into using his left arm to operate the throttle at times.
"Through the liaison, there's a little bit of a trick I used from what holds the battery in the battery cage," said Price.
"[We] basically just ran a thing around the outside of the grip and it kind of just made the throttle stick a little bit so I could rest my arm a lot more on liaison rides.
"There have been some stages where I actually had to do a bit of left-hand throttle; it's not the best way to be riding a bike.
"But we made it work, we made it to the finish line, we survived. It's a crazy feeling."
Finishing the rally wasn't something even Price himself expected to do, the Aussie admitting he thought he'd be headed home after a couple of days.
"I honestly thought if I could get to stage three and then pack up and go home, I was going to be happy with that," he said.
"Stage three, we all kind of got lost, we all had a bad day, and it made me put the helmet back on and go again.
"The rest day was good for us, it was pretty much on the limit there and the rest day gave me the day off to get a solid day of resting and sort it out.
"After that, it was trying to charge on and grit the teeth. The last five days have been a very, very big struggle."
Having said the wrist was "on fire" following his push into the lead with two stages to go, Price was equally unable to hide his discomfort come the end of the event.
But, he did admit the sweet taste of victory would help ease 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," he said.
"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."
When the celebrations are done Price will have his wrist assessed for further damage.
"I guess I'll go and get some MRI scans and CT scans and x-rays and see what damage we've done and where we'll situate ourselves for the rest of the year," he added.
"Hopefully I'll still have a wrist after this, hopefully they don't chop the thing off."
Additional reporting by Sergio Lillo
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