The 2019 Dakar Rally saw over 135 motorcycle riders from all around the world race past 9,000 kilometers through Peru, Bolivia and Argentina in an effort to claim victory. Leading the way was KTM driver, Toby Price, who successfully finished the competition with an impressive timing of 33 hours 57 minutes and 16 seconds. Toby Price’s triumph for KTM has cemented him into the competition’s history as a two-time champion of the Rally following his 2016 success.
Although KTM were anticipating yet again another victory in the competition, unexpected complications just before the event would challenge this expectation. Eventual race victor Toby Price required emergency surgery in his wrist only a few days before the event, following a broken scaphoid occurring during a training accident, casting him in extreme doubt.
“I didn’t even expect him to make it to the start line with the wrist injury he had. He had to have it pinned in surgery,” Toby’s father John Price stated. “It was big task for him to even race, but he was determined to be on the starting line. To see him get the win is nothing short of amazing.”
As team celebrations came to a close, Toby Price stated, “It feels amazing to stand here knowing I have won the Dakar, I don’t think it has really sunk in yet”, continuing to say that “The team put in so much work on the lead up to the event. I knew that when we got here it would have been up to me out there on the track to make it to the finish line in the first place. It feels amazing to be able to reward them all with this result and keep KTM’s winning streak going.”
KTM’s first attendance in the competition happened one year after Dakar’s foundation; in 1980. While the first few decades of the event frequently saw KTM riders compete, it was only until 2001 that rider Fabrizio Meoni was able to claim victory. In the years that followed the KTM brand has become synonymous with success in the Dakar Rally, achieving a total of 18 consecutive years of wins, and frequently having their other riders within the same team finish second and third respectively.
The Austrian company boasts some of the best drivers within Dakar Rally’s history. Between the years of 2005 and 2015, KTM champions Cyril Despres and Marc Coma battled with each other year after year to both claim 5 victories each in the competition, making them two of the most successful drivers ever.
Extremely proud of their Dakar Rally 2019 result as KTM dominated the podium, finishing first, second and third, Jordi Viladoms, KTM Rally Team Manager, stated “it’s been an amazing race with many ups and downs, often stressful, but I am extremely proud of the whole team’s performance. The rally has been far tougher than expected. Despite being shorter than usual it has included days with a very detailed and well planned strategy, navigation. The level of riding has been so close. To win our 18th consecutive Dakar is incredible and a lot of it is thanks to Toby, as he won the race even with a lot of pain in his wrist. Personally, I would like to thank KTM for their ongoing support of this rally program. All of this is only how united the team is together.”
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