Have you been watching the televised reviews of DAKAR? It’s the most gruelling, challenging motorcycle competition any rider could ever dream of riding—the top test of rider skills. Most wouldn’t last the first few hours. Have you seen the footage, the terrain, and the stage route details?
This year the Dakar, a destination in Africa is still used as the name of the event, regardless of the race being moved to South America, finish line Buenos Aires. It was too dangerous to run the event in Africa due to political unrest which if you remember this caused the 2008 DAKAR to be cancelled!In watching the footage, South America looks even more challenging! I am so proud to actually know and have motorsport comrades riding in this competition. These are Netherlanders– Mirjam Pol one of the few women (officially registered as Gesina Maria Pol) riding Honda start number #48.
Then there’s Gerrard Rond a former motocross champ and no stranger to Dakar where he rode his first in 1986. Gerrard and I ran the RaceGirl Motorsport off road days together hosted at his special 40 hectare (including lake) location. He’s on a KTM, start number #156. Then there’s the famed former Dutch MotoGP racer Jurgen van der Goorbergh. Jurgen has a strong motorsport background, very accomplished, on HONDA with start number # 57.
All my comrades are still in the game and at the time of this writing riding out stage #8 of the 15 stage competition. I’m so very proud and honoured to observe their fight in the DAKAR. Indeed I am jealous, as I too would love to add this competition to my list of motorsport accomplishments—who knows! There were 235 motorcycles entered and started, not including the 44 participants not quad and not quite motorcycle sector that were bunched into the motorcycle start category—that’s 279 total. Sadly there has been one motorcyclist death, indeed there can be others before this race ends.At the start of stage 8 today, 137 motorcycles remain—that’s less than half.
THREE CHEERS to Mirjam, Gerrard and Jurgen—still in the game! Each year, particularly for the past 8, I’ve enjoyed cheering on comrades in the Dakar (the Dutch have a strong presence in all categories) makes the DAKAR even more exciting bringing me even closer to this amazing race!
Check out the DAKAR website—exciting info available to view!