Dakar motorbikes leader Walkner takes nothing for granted

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Chilecito (Argentina), Jan 18 (IANS) Austrian motorcyclist Matthias Walkner (KTM) has said that he is concentrating on avoiding mistakes as he edges closer to becoming the first competitor from his country to win the Dakar Rally.

“Every day can change everything. I have to stay focused day after day. I don’t think so much about victory,” he said on Wednesday after coming in fifth in Stage 11, 11:01 behind the winner, teammate Toby Price of Australia, reports Efe.

“Of course, I’m a little bit nervous. Just missing one waypoint can cost you 20 minutes. Keeping going and doing my best is all I can do,” Walkner said in Chilecito.

The Austrian grabbed first place in the general classification on Tuesday during a stage that saw then-leader Adrien Van Beveren withdraw with an injury and several other contenders in the bike race lose big chunks of time after getting lost on the course.

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Kevin Benavides (Honda) trails Walkner by 32 minutes with three stages left.

Sitting in third place is Toby Price, 39 minutes behind his Austrian teammate.

–IANS

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