With two stages to go in the 2020 Dakar Rally, Hillston's Toby Price finds himself sitting just outside the podium positions in fourth place.
After a tough couple of days in Saudi Arabia, the focus shifted back to racing for Stage 9 with Price able to get back up to third overall with a second-place finish.
Price wrote on social media after the stage that it was tough to make up ground on the leaders with the other competitors able to follow the same line across the 410km stage.
"With the stage been so fast it is really difficult to make any time up on other competitors due to us all being able to follow and do much the same," he wrote.
"That been said, I'm happy to have that stage behind me, and now I can really focus on the small number of remaining days to try and close this gap up to the lead."
With Price needing to make up just over 26 minutes if he was to take first place, a strong performance would be required on stage 10 on Wednesday.
Unfortunately, the weather wasn't kind to the competitors, and the stage was eventually cut short by organisers.
"There were a lot of drops throughout the course, and I guess when we're all travelling at such high speeds they do catch you out," he wrote.
"I hope there were no serious injuries today and wishing those injured competitors a fast recovery."
Price finished the reduced stage in fourth position and also dropped out of the podium position with Spain's Joan Barreda Bort jumping into third with a minute and 24 second lead of Price.
American Ricky Brabec continues to lead the race and is 28 minutes and 33 seconds in front of the Hillston legend. Price admitted after the stage the changes to stage 10 put a dent in his chances of defending his title.
"The cancellation of today's stage has made it that much tougher for us to make up the time we needed," he said.
"I was hoping to start a little further back tomorrow (Thursday) to make up that time, but unfortunately that won't be happening. We're still in this race and aiming to get to the finish line strong."
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