Double Dakar Rally winner Toby Price deserves a major sports honour

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Two-time Dakar Rally champion Toby Price should be honoured with a state or national sportsperson of the year award and The Don award for “inspiring the nation”.

The Dakar is a gruelling rally that has claimed the lives of 24 competitors since it started in 1978. It is referred to as the toughest motorsport event in the world.

Toby started racing the lethal Dakar in 2015, finishing an astounding third on debut.

The following year he rode for the KTM Factory team and became the first Australian to win the rally.

He broke his leg in 2017 and last year finished third despite not racing for a year due to injury.

Just a month before this year’s Dakar, Toby broke his wrist in training. His victory while nursing a “burning wrist” is all the more brave.

Last year Toby also became the first Australian to win the FIM World Cross Country Championship and scored a record sixth win in Australia’s toughest motorcycle rally, the Finke Desert Race.

In fact, he won that race on debut, a feat he also achieved in the Hattah Dessert Race.

Toby has also won two Australian Junior Motocross Championships and the Australian Off-Road Racing Championship.

Dakar’s most prolific winner, Stéphane Peterhansel, scored his sixth win the year he turned 33. Marc Coma won his fifth Dakar Rally at the age of 39. So Toby, aged 31, still has several years of racing ahead of him and is hopeful of more Dakar wins.

How much more inspiring could a sportsperson be to our nation?