Hunter enduro champion Toby Price says the pain and torture has been worth it after claiming his second Dakar Rally.
“It’s really crazy. I’m over the moon, I’m so damned stoked. It’s been a long 10 days,” an elated Price said after winning the final stage and claiming overall honours in the world’s toughest motorsport race.
“Now I’ll just wait and see what damage I've done to my wrist.
“At the end of the day, the pain and torture has been worth it.”
“Pretty much all I can say is that it feels like there are about five people driving a knife in my wrist now.
“It’s not very comfortable, it’s not very enjoyable, but at the end of the day the victory has paid off.
“It’s very crazy to sit here and say that we won the Dakar rally with no stage victories until today,”
Chile’s Pablo Quintanilla, who was second going into the final leg just 1 minute and two seconds behind Price, crashed and finished the leg more than 19 minutes off the pace to fall to fourth overall.
Quintanilla’s misfortune meant it was Red Bull KTM trifecta with Price taking leading teammates Austrian Matthias Walkner and the UK’s Sam Sunderland.
Price revealed that he did not believe he would be able to last the full 10 days.
“I thought I would only be able to do two stages and then pull out and that would have been me done,” he said.
“But the support from everyone back home in Australia and then having some things go my way and a bit of luck, it just worked out in the end. It’s been an unreal rally.
“I’ll forget about the pain now, that’s for sure. The win takes away all the pain. For sure, if it wasn’t for this victory it wouldn't have been as sweet, but at the end of the day I was just happy to make the finishing line.
“I didn’t think I was even going to be able to do that.”
Price said winning his second Dakar title did not signal he was now the dominant force in the event.
“I’m not the new boss of the rally, that’s for sure. There are so many guys that can win this race and we had strong competitors like Pablo and Ricky Brabec, Sam Sunderland, Matthias Walkner… everyone is strong.
“You can never count anybody out.
“Kevin Benavides did a great job and at the end of the day we all fight to the finish line and it’s been a hard rally. I just don’t like giving up,
“I don’t like quitting, that’s for sure. That’s about it. I love being out on my bike and I love riding and to be here with all the Dakar family and the KTM team it’s amazing. So, yeah, we’re pumped”.
Price won the title in 2016 when he made history as the first Australian to win the Dakar Rally.