Toby Price all set to defend Dakar Rally title in 2020
Toby Price has been spotted training for the 2020 Dakar Rally, with images out of KTM showing the Australian rider all geared up with the KTM Factory Racing crew for the event which will take place in Saudi Arabia, marking the 42nd edition of the rally.
Price returns to defend his 2019 title in January of 2020, with many observing the 2020 running may be the most challenging yet, covering 7900km, with competitors battling through over 5000km of special stages.
Soldiering through the pain of a broken wrist suffered just weeks before the 2019 event, Price went on to take victory, KTM’s 18th consecutive win of the event, leading home fellow KTM rider’s Matthias Walkner and Sam Sunderland.
Price just took second overall in the Baja 1000 race in his truck, and also competed in the Finke event earlier in the year in the truck category due to the earlier wrist injury and aiming for the 2020 Dakar.
Toby Price also recently won the final stage of the Rally du Maroc, but it wasn’t enough to elevate him to the overall win, finishing just off the podium in fourth overall, sharing at the time, “I only just missed out on the podium, which is frustrating, but it’s been really good training. I missed out on the podium by just seven seconds but all-in-all I’m pleased with how I rode. Navigation was really tricky here and we had to learn to ride with the minimum of information. I’m hoping that will put us in a good position for January and the Dakar Rally.”
The 2020 event will kick off in Jeddah in January 5, with the first third of the rally a test of navigation skills along the Red Sea and heading north to Neom and Al Ula, before heading into the dunes between Ha’il and Riyadh.
The Shubaytah and Haradh stages will be contested in the vast “Empty Quarter”of the Saudi territory, before heading into the final Qiddiyah stage, where navigation will again be vital.
The 48th event will also see a rebalance of the parameters, with new colour-coded roadbooks only given to competitors minutes before timed sector’s start. A Super Marathon stage for the top pilots will only allow 10-minutes of work on their machines, alongside a traditional marathon the day before the finish. A joker will also be granted to competitors forced to retire in all categories, allowing them to rejoin the Rally in the Dakar Experience classification.
2020 Dakar Rally Stages
- Stage 1 – Jeddah > Al Wajh, 752 km – SS : 319 km
- Stage 2 – Al Wajh > Neom, 401 km – SS : 367 km
- Stage 3 – Neom > Neom, 489 km – SS : 404 km
- Stage 4 – Neom > Al Ula, 676 km – SS : 453 km
- Stage 5 – Al Ula > Ha’il, 563 km – SS : 353 km
- Stage 6 – Ha’il > Riyadh, 830 km – SS : 478 km
- Rest Day – Riyadh
- Stage 7 – Riyadh > Wadi Al-Dawasir, 741 km – SS : 546 km
- Stage 8 – Wadi Al-Dawasir > Wadi Al-Dawasir, 713 km – SS : 474 km
- Stage 9 – Wadi Al-Dawasir > Haradh, 891 km – SS : 415 km
- Stage 10 – Haradh > Shubaytah, 608 km – SS : 534 km
- Stage 11 – Shubaytah > Haradh, 744 km – SS : 379 km
- Stage 12 – Haradh > Qiddiya, 447 km – SS : 374 km